Disappointing Christmas

I am worried I am going to have some disappointed kids Christmas morning.

3 of the 4 want an iPod Touch of their own and the other one wants some dolls that I am not comfortable with.

I won’t let Santa bring their gift requests and I won’t buy them, so not one of my kids is getting what they asked for this Christmas.

Part of me wants to fulfill their wishes and see huge grins on Christmas morning.  I want to be liked and I want my kids to be happy. I want to be the fun, cool, hip mom.  And Christmas shopping would be so much easier.

But the stronger part of me understands my parenting job clearly. And I know that I must control what I allow in my home.  I know I want to limit their exposure to technology and limit their exposure to bad role models.

As far as the iPods go, my kids don’t need any more technology in their life.  We have a family iPad and a family iPod Touch and the fact that they want an upgrade is just wrong and embarrassing and normal for kids these days.  Part of me wants to take them to Africa and drop them off and tell them to get a life, but then I kind of know that I contributed to the monsters in the first place.

But just like I made my daughter wait to pierce her ears longer than the average mom, my kids are going to have to wait longer than the average kid to get their own technological devices.  They just might be the only kids in Jr. High without a cell phone if I can stay strong.  And they sure as heck aren’t going to have an iPod touch when they are in elementary school even if they hate me.

As far as the dolls go, I don’t know what it is exactly, but I am just not comfortable with them.   I won’t mention the brand name because I don’t want other moms to feel bad if they are okay with them, but I don’t want these particular dolls in my house.  I don’t know if it is their makeup or clothes or attitude or poses, but they feel dark to me and I want my daughter surrounded by light.  I have looked at the dolls every time I have gone shopping over the last few weeks (which has been a lot) because I really want to give my daughter what she really wants, but I just can’t pull the trigger. I am just not comfortable with them in my home and I am choosing to honor my feelings on this one even though I can’t quite explain why.

With both the iPods and the dolls, I figure it would be harder to back track and take away then to never give. And I trust that Santa can find gifts that are just as fun and exciting but more uplifting and bright and less addictive.

So I am going with my gut instincts over guaranteed grins and giggles Christmas morning.   Even if my kids end up being disappointed.

Today I feel like I am doing the right thing for my family.  We will see how I feel Christmas morning.

 

24 thoughts on “Disappointing Christmas”

  1. Stay strong. I’m sure Santa will find fun and exciting gifts and maybe you can still get those grins and giggles by turning it all around and finding a family that might need Christmas; involve your kiddos, play Santa and buy for them. You’re a geat mom, Tiff!

  2. I hate to say this. I remember being disappointed (I was middle school age). I had a friend that got EVERYTHING on her list, every year (at least that is what it seemed like to me! My gifts where kinda lame in comparison. It has affected me as a parent buying for my own children. I hate to admit this but, it is true! The problem wasn’t with the gifts I got, REALLY! It was what the others got, that made me feel…less important. There are many factors why children don’t always get what they want, it could be a money issue, it could be moral issue, it could be they have too much already. I think it would be healthy to tell them in advance that there are a few things on their list that Santa doesn’t feel comfortable with, then they will be OK with it. Don’t surprise them with this revelation on Christmas morning. But do stay strong to your convictions!

    1. Thanks Marce! I totally agree that the kids should know they aren’t getting what they asked for before Christmas morning rolls around. I have told them that I won’t allow Santa to bring them what they want and I have explained all of the above reasons to them. My daughter knows I am not comfortable with her dolls and I may or may not have laughed when my kids asked for the iPod Touch. And I can totally relate to being disappointed. My friend, Kori, who commented above, got parachute pants one Christmas and I didn’t. (Does that date me or what?) I was so bummed. It is a constant struggle to teach gratitude even for me. Thanks for your comment!

      1. I think that you have taken the disappointment factor out by explaining things already. Stop worrying yourself. After all, you have children that know the reason for the season. Your kids probably already knew the answer before they put it on their list. But, it never hurts to ask, just in case Santa has a weak moment.
        Blessings to you and your family!

  3. I’m totally with you. And I’d like to get back to giving oranges for Christmas but that’s probably not going to happen.

  4. Now I know why Crew wants me for a mom:). Croft may jump ship too when she sees the Barbies I’m getting Kate for Christmas. Ha!

  5. I am totally with you! My favorite line to use when the kids say, “But so and so has a phone, so and so has this… is “In our family, this is what we do.”

    Your kids aren’t the only ones in Jr. High without a phone. Our kids don’t get one till high school. My son got an iPod touch last year at age 13 because I knew he could take care of it. My kids aren’t getting everything on their list either, but I think their eyes will still light up with what they are getting 🙂 We are focusing on their talents and experiences with them this year. So they are getting a plane ticket back east for their main gift.

    Pretty sure i know the dolls you’re talking about and they won’t be allowed in my house either. Something dark and over sexualized about them. Don’t need the influence on my cute daughter. 🙂

    1. Cheryl- love the idea of focusing on talents and experiences. Have you ever done the “trip gift” before? and if so, how did it go over Christmas morning? Just wondering if my kids could appreciate the idea of a present that they wouldn’t get for a few months or if they are too young?

      1. No we haven’t done it before. We are doing it for my two oldest kids that are 13 and 11. I’m not sure my youngest kids would appreciate getting a plane ticket 🙂

  6. You know I am on the same page! I love that we see eye to eye on this….I too am worried about Christmas morning but have decided I need to give my kids more credit. Regardless of what they find under the tree I am hoping Christmas morning is still as magical as ever.

    1. Renee, yes! I need to give my kids more credit too. That is a great way to look at it. Trust that they can adjust, that they can feel gratitude, and that they aren’t selfish. Thank you for reminding me.

  7. I’m on your side! My kids are still little enough to be influenced more by TV ads than even by their friends. I try to limit what tv ads they see (I love a DVR for when I do actually let them watch), but it seems like they are begging for whatever they see.
    I am lucky enough that they have pretty short memories when it comes to stuff like that and they’ve not yet seemed disappointed when birthday or Christmas comes and goes without a particular gift.
    I know that I may have a rude awakening in a couple of years, but at least I know I’ll have your posts to turn to to help me stay strong!

  8. I was often disappointed as a kid at Christmas (one year, all I wanted was a camera – film in those days!). That being said, life comes with disappointments, and readjusting our expectations and hopes (a lesson i’m STILL learning). I support your decisions… Stay strong

    And for the record, I wasn’t allowed to pierce my ears til 18 – dad fought for a little earlier so I could go to the formal (our prom) with earrings. Yay dad!

    1. Sarah- I love your point about life comes with disappointments and adjusting expectations and hopes. This is so true! Thank you.

      And I was 14 when I got my ears pierced. I thought nobody had to wait as long as me. I like your parents.

      1. I was 19 when I got my ears pierced. I never really thought about wanting it. My Mom didn’t have hers pierced and none of my sisters did either until they were past 18. My daughter is already asking about it at age 8…oy!

  9. Love it Tiff. I may have some kids in the same boat…things are just tight and kids are getting older. It’s time for creativity and practicality. I so agree with your friend it’s about what others got…especially in the belief of Santa. Raising kids, isn’t it great…keep up the great posts!

  10. We are having a handmade Christmas this year. Santa will bring one store bought present and the rest are being made by dad and mom. (And for those who care, this is not necessarily a cheaper way to go and is definitely not easier for mom!) The boys are NOT excited about this. Every time it comes up, my 11 or 13 year old will say, “are we still doing that?” Like I might forget and just go buy them presents or something. So funny. I think the key is in setting up the expectation. They KNOW not to expect anything great so maybe it will be okay after all… Either way it will be a Christmas that they will never forget!

    1. Jen- I love it! I can relate to your boys attitudes. I proposed the handmade Christmas to my family a while back and my son’s reply was “Mom, that is the worst idea you have ever had.” Good luck!

  11. Nate and I were toy shopping for Mary and saw some scary looking dolls and both agreed we’d never let our daughter have them! Love what you said about only wanting to bring things of “light” into your home.

    Also, I don’t want my kids to have cell phones in Jr. High either! I started sneaking out all the time once I got one! My friends were only a “text” away…haha. Not looking forward to raising a mini me in the teenage years!

  12. I LOVE this post! Even my high schoolers do not have phones. When they ask what they would do if there was an emergency, I told them to turn to the friend with a phone to their left or to the friend with the phone on the right and ask to borrow it.
    Someday, our kids will thank us for not giving in to their every whim…..right?

  13. I love this post! I choose unpopular parenting and teaching, over popularity and Christmas morning giggles, as you do. I think we could be great friends. 🙂

    Our family has chosen no cell phones for kids/teenagers up to this point and that’s REALLY unpopular. When my oldest daughter tells me that she is THE ONLY one out of her friends that doesn’t have a cell phone..she may be right. –I too use the “If EVERYONE has a cell phone, ask to borrow theirs if you need to call.”

    Last year, our family started the “3 gifts for Christmas” tradition. My kids weren’t very excited about it (it even took several years of convincing for my husband to be on board), but they’ve adjusted. We plan to continue it this year. –I feel so much better about Christmas morning when the gifts are quality, not quantity. –We also do a homemade gift exchange in our family. It’s a lot of work, but so much more rewarding than a purchased gift.

    Sorry I’ve rambled on..just feel so excited about this parenting view kindship. It’s hard to find someone who feels like this..even some of my own siblings think I’m “too strict” or overthinking things. It is hard to not to go with popular thinking…but I’m hoping that it will be worth it in the end.

    Thanks for your post!

    1. Thanks Alisha! I am glad someone else out there parents like me. I have been accused of over-thinking as well. But it is who I am and at least my kids know that I put a lot of thought into what I do for them and with them.

  14. Hi! Just stumbled upon this.

    My kids are still pretty young–5, 8, and 10. My 8 and 10 year know about the who Santa really is. In our home we do not do Christmas lists. I think that lists moves the “Christmas is for giving” to “Christmas is for getting”. We try to be observant and think of what our kids will like. We may even ask them if there is something in particular that they are interested in. But no lists. I think if we start them young having them make lists and getting everything on it, the harder it will be when they are older to start having the discussion about why they can’t get what they asked for.

    Christmas is for giving, and if they happen to be fortunate enough to have loving parents, gramma’s and grampa’s, siblings and others that wish to give them a gift because they are loved–They need to learn to be grateful for those thoughts, energies, and actions of others.

    Just my 2 cents 🙂

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