Keeping Christmas in Check: Something They Want or Something I Need?

A veteran mom of seven shared this poem with me last year when we were chatting about Christmas and although I liked the concept it seemed restricting. As the year has gone by and I have been getting ready for Christmas the past few weeks I was reminded of this poem and have been using it as a guideline. I am using the “want” as the Santa gift and have come to realize that this little poem has been helping me keep the right perspective and have some direction in my holiday shopping this year. It provides structure without a monetary budget associated with it (although it can be added when necessary), so a “need” for example can be a $5 item or a $50 item depending on the year.

I was reminded last year that Christmas can be overwhelming, especially for young children who simply want to play with the first few toys they have opened rather than sit down for a marathon of present opening. And as much as I want to shower my kids with gifts, it is not the quantity that makes them happy. So I am trying to keep myself in check this year to remind myself whom I am trying to please (the kids or me?) and I also know that I need to resist the urge to compensate for Daddy’s absence this year while he is deployed. It is the family traditions and memories that the kids will keep with them over the years.

A tradition I started for our family was to have Santa’s gifts be made of wood from his workshop and I loved leaving the Santa gifts unwrapped last year for them to discover first thing in the morning, which I plan to continue this year. We open a present on Christmas Eve and watch Mickey’s Christmas Carol to continue a tradition from my childhood. Since our families are spread out across the country and globe, we plan to do present opening shifts so that our families can share parts of the present opening with us and to spread out the presents for the kids in hopes to be less overwhelming this year. It gets a little complicated trying to separate my son’s Christmas birthday from the holiday festivities, but luckily he is still young and pretty easy to please.

I love the Christmas season for the uplifting spirit that is in the air, the beautiful decorations, family time and the religious celebration. I am eager to bake and decorate with my kids after we return home next week and have my younger brother and sister join us for the holidays. What are some of your holiday traditions?

{If you enjoyed reading Keeping Christmas in Check: Something They Want or Something I Need? I would be tickled pink if you left a comment. To read more about my green(er) parenting aspirations, advice and adventures be sure to subscribe to my RSS feed or get updates via email.}


By Emi Stapler. I am a cloth diaper advocate, green parenting blogger, mother of three and a military wife who enjoys sharing my motherhood adventures and advice. Follow me at The Cloth Diaper Report on Facebook, Twitter @TheCDReport , Google +, Pinterest and Instagram.

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