The Family

Why my kids aren’t getting much this Christmas…

… but they will still have more than many.

Every year on Christmas Eve I see on social media people posting photographs of their Christmas tree. Under the tree are piles and piles of presents. No just under the tree but spilling out across the living room floor, across furniture and all over the dining table. Many of these photo’s are posted by families who may only have one or two children. I see toddlers getting iPads, Bikes and Nike’s all on the same day.

I am not shaming those who want to spoil their children. If they have the money to spend on scores of presents for their kids, that’s fine. But this year I decided to not become one of those parents. Last year my kids were spoilt. They had far too many gifts.

I grew up hearing stories from my nan and granddad about what presents they received at Christmas time during their childhood. Quite often they could recall what year they received that present, and how their parents saved for that one special gift. They remember the details so well because each year it was acceptable for them to be given just that one gift. Not hundreds.

My children have so many toys. Toys in the cupboards, all over their bedroom floors, behind the sofa, under the sofa, on my book shelves… the toys are taking over our house. What more could they possibly want?! Art kits and play sets seem to breed over night. All year round they are given little odds and ends that just add to the piles and come Christmas there is no room for anything else!

I don’t want my girls to grow up unappreciative of what their parents had to spend, so many little things that collectively mean so little. This year we have spent less than £100 on gifts. Not per child, no way, but under £100 between all 3 of them. And I still think £100 is too much money to spend on a bunch of pre-schoolers.

They have 1 main present each, Ivy’s being a toy knitted by myself, and a few little stocking fillers that we have collected over the last year. Just a few pots of Playdoh and some board games from the local NCT sale make up some of that.

I’m not being harsh, I just want my girls to appreciate what they have a little more than they already do. We are also in the process of extremely reducing what we own, cutting out clutter from our lives. My girls can’t play with all of the toys that they own, and we quite often find toys shoved at the bottom of the play box that have not been touched since the day they were bought. Those toy get sent to my local children’s centre for other kids to appreciate.

One thing to remember this year is that many kids around the world wont get much this Christmas, and many kids won’t get anything. According to the government 2.3 million children are living in poverty in the UK. It’s likely that they won’t be waking up to a full house of perfectly wrapped presents.

kids at christmas

Hazel Newhouse

Hazel is a mum to 3 daughters and a son, she lives in Bedfordshire with her husband, kids and pets. Hazel has written for various publications, and regularly works alongside popular parenting and gardening brands.

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