I am the oldest of 8 children. Growing up was amazingly fun as we always had someone to play with. I remember Christmas time as being the best time of the year. I loved the traditions that we had. The elves came to visit, we made cookies and sugar cube castles and went downtown to see the lights.
Christmas day was amazing. With so many kids, the presents under the tree looked like they piled 8 feet tall. Then again, when you are six, you have such a sweet innocent perspective on life. I know that my parents went to every single effort to make sure that we had an amazing memory. And.. they did it all on a minuscule budget.
Now that I am older and have a family of my own, I am getting a very small glimpse into the lives of my parents. I will never know the full extent of what they went through. They didn’t have the money that we have (and we are not Rockafellers by any stretch of the imagination) and they had nearly three times the amount of children that I do. The holidays must have been such a stressful time for them.
We never knew that though. We thought that we were rich. We thought that we had it all. We were excited for every single little gift that we got. I remember stories of my mom spending the night in the parking lot of Toys R Us so that I would be able to get a Cabbage Patch Doll for Christmas. One year I asked for end tables for my room. Yes, I know that that is an odd request for a 15 year old. Knowing now how much furniture costs, I am overwhelmed with the fact that my parents delivered on that gift.
I look at the generation that we are raising now and honestly, I think that most kids are overly spoiled. Mine included. We have more toys in just one area of the house than I did all of growing up. I want to work on that this year and start to tone down Christmas.
It is a hard task to accomplish when we are in a generation of more is more. It is hard when all of their friends are getting an amazing amount of gifts. Expensive gifts at that. It is hard because deep down, I wish that I could get my kids every single thing that their hearts desire. The reality is that I can’t. And that is ok. I actually believe that we learn a lot in life by not getting everything that we want. I think that it is a good experience for kids to learn that not everything is given.
It is Christmas though and I would like to do what I can to help them have an incredibly memorable season. So, I am putting myself to a challenge. This year, I am going to try to see how inexpensive I can do our Christmas. My children do have a couple of requests that they would like to have. It is of course, the Zhu Zhu pet which is the Tickle Me Elmo of the year. But, I am trying to make Christmas a little smaller and a little more calm. For Kaeson, I am getting him Halloween costumes. Yep, they are on clearance everywhere and that boy loves to dress up! Kyra is getting handmade gifts from mom. She is very into her American Girl knock off doll and wants outfits. Now, that is one thing that I can do.
However, I am curious and putting the question out there. I want to know how people are budgeting Christmas. I am curious to know how you plan to get everyone taken care of.