Mum-of-four reveals why she is taking a minimalistic approach this Christmas by buying fewer presents.
I go overboard each and every Christmas. I do it and I regret it each year. As a working mum of four, I worry quite consistently if they are getting enough or if I am doing enough. This year, I'm cutting down on presents - here's why.
What I have realised only recently is that I am worrying if I am giving them enough of my time and attention but instead of giving them that time, I'm replacing that with material things.
A bunch of presents that I hope will make them unexplainably happy, when in fact all they really want, all they need is me. My presence over any present I could buy them.
From experience, when they wake up Christmas morning and there is an explosion of toys, they are actually so overwhelmed with presents they can’t even focus on the one they really wanted.
My son once received a gift of a toy helicopter but was given no help to set it up or use it on the day. It stopped me in my tracks and made me question it all. A toy but nobody to help him learn how to play with it? What is the point?
In a child’s eyes, how much better would it be to have half the presents and somebody that will sit on the floor and explore all these new exciting toys with them?
What children really need is presence, not the unnecessary plethora of gifts I panic buy every year.
What they need is memories, traditions and fun and laughter. The mountain of presents I was buying was more to quieten my own guilt for not giving them enough of my time or attention.
Now, let’s also get real for a minute, I am not using this an opportunity to give myself some more mum guilt. I have spoilt them in presents, not left them starving. But, let this be your reminder if the anxiety has gotten the better of you and you are panic buying just like I have - stop.
Take a breath, make a mental or written note and think of five things your child really needs. Time? Affection? One on one chats?
Maybe a trip to a playground or bowling or even a movie is something they would really cherish?
This will be different for every family and for each one of your children. But if you stop and think about what this is really all about, I hope, like me, it really makes you see it all in a different light.
That's why I'm cutting down on presents this year. Presence over presents. Each and every time.