I posted a little while ago about my hopes for Jaspy’s first Christmas. I spoke about the magic and the sparkle of course but the main focus was on appreciation. Appreciating the small gifts and the family time. Not asking for presents or being ungrateful.
I’ve stuck to this in the build up to Christmas and have made sure that the boys only have a handful of presents that we think they either need or will really get use out of and enjoy.
Something that really reiterated to me that what I’m doing is what’s best for my family is a woman’s Facebook status that I saw shared yesterday from 92.9 The Bull (I think it’s a radio station).
She spoke about how we should choose carefully which presents we say to our children are from Santa. Telling them that Santa got them their iPad, bicycle and PS4 is all well and good but how does that get explained to their classmate who only received a new hat and pair of gloves. How does that seem fair to a young child? Why would Santa get so much for some children and so little for others.
She goes on to make the point that you can explain the value of money to your children, i.e., ‘we’re very fortunate to be able to buy you lots this year’ or ‘we just don’t have the money’; but to try to sugarcoat Santa’s discrimination to a heart broken child is not so easy.
I never want Jasper to feel like he’s more or less important to Santa than another child. It would break my heart to see Rhys come home from school and say that Santa prefers his friend as he got him more presents. It would equally crush me to think that either of the boys thought that they were better than their peers hence them getting so many presents.
Of course I’ll be instilling the naughty and nice list. I’ll also be sending a Christmas elf every year to spy on them for Santa; but that’s behavioural, that’s nothing to do with the money we have.
So from this year on, amongst our small selection of presents that we get the boys, only one will be from Santa. One magical present.
‘We have enough toys and presents, plus mummy and daddy wanted to buy you things too’ is what we’ll tell the boys.
‘Choose one extra special present that you’d like from Santa and we’ll get you the rest.’
‘We don’t need to ask Santa for a lot, we already have so many amazing toys, let’s let Santa make some extra toys for the little girls and boys that don’t already have a lot’
Now I’m not saying this is going to go smoothly. Jaspy and Rhys will no doubt want to ask Santa for lots especially when they see their friends getting lots from him; but I really hope that we can make them understand from an early age that they have a lot; for their sake and for the sake of the children that don’t have a lot.
I’d like them to think, ‘ I got one super special present from Santa, some great ones from my family, and I already have everything I need and want anyway’. I also wan’t them to think of Santa as magical more so than a gift giver. He’ll be the secret, the surprise and the excitement. He’ll be the footprints outside of the house, the half eaten mince pie and the jingle bells out of the bedroom window. It won’t matter what he brings, what will matter is the chance of seeing him, of getting a glimpse of his big white beard and cuddly tummy!
Every year from the next we’ll also take the boys to the local children’s centre and donate their old toys that they want to give to other children. Well they’ll have to or we won’t have room for their new ones right?
I’d love it if this could really work. If children didn’t get spoilt or cry because they got the wrong present. I’d love it for every child to get a magical present and be so thrilled that they don’t think of the quantity or the financial value.
Let’s see? Let’s see how it goes, and let’s hope for a bit of magic for every child
Thanks for reading!