Christmas thoughts

Another Christmas wrapped up and lots of happy kids. Lots of toys. Possibly too much? I guess with a family of 5, it’s hard to be too minimal. There’s a fine line between a good amount without going overboard and being so minimal they’re disappointed.

A few things I’ve learned in my 8 Christmas’s as a mother:

  • Kids under 2-3 get overwhelmed easily. Don’t feel like you need to give them a lot. E got through 3 gifts before he was over it and refused to open more. I remember one year, we saved half of A’s gifts for his birthday.
  • Books, clothes, and board games are no fun for them to receive. Even if they do like to play board games. Avoid unless specifically asked for.
  • A handful of gifts they really truly want and have asked for beats a dozen gifts.
  • Don’t worry about not getting enough, our kids are lucky to have generous family.
  • Making things 100% fair isn’t that important. My kids aren’t counting gifts. If I accidentally buy more for one kid, the others won’t notice as long as they’re happy with what they got.

This last year has been a lot harder than the last few, financially. While we’re making it, there’s less to play with, a lot more budgeting (and actually following it) to try and stay within a safe range, and our personal savings took a big hit with a huge repair on our rental house.

Luckily, I have been grabbing good deals for the kids since August. I definitely spent less this year than previous years. AND I managed to keep a running list of everything I purchased in my phone so there was a lot less last minute buying because I felt like there wasn’t “enough” for someone.

Me? I got everything I wanted and more. All those things you want but don’t want to buy. Or maybe that’s just me. I try not to buy too much or too frivolously when I can help it. Which is a far cry from how I used to be.

My favorite is seeing my kids happy, but I’ll selfishly admit I enjoy getting new things, too.

Feeling a little sad this season is over. It just seems to go by so fast and I never feel like I did “enough” to make things magical for them. But we did our best.

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