How many Christmas presents are enough for our children?

It’s a question I often think about at this time of year. Of course I want them to feel the excitement of the big day, and unwrapping lots of presents on Christmas Day is part of the fun. But are we taking the consumerism of Christmas too far?

My husband and I decided that we would give each child only one gift this year. Sometimes I get a pang of guilt that I am not doing enough, but I’ve concluded that that guilt comes because I feel like I am not buying enough. And that is a message that has come to me from corporations and retailers.

Now, as an adult, what matters most to me at Christmas time is not the presents. I can buy myself things I like at any time of year. What matters to me now is spending time with family. And this is the message I want to give my children as they grow up and learn what Christmas is all about.

So to build excitement in our household this year, we are focusing on doing more, not buying more. We’ve decorated our house with homemade decorations, we’ve hung lights and we’ve made biscuits using an old family recipe. And doing these things, rather than going out and doing more shopping, has helped me get exited about the day too.


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