Wednesday, December 3, 2008

To spoil or not...

That is the question.

So, Steve and I went to bed slightly angry tonight.

Well, he went to bed, I am up playing on the computer. Even though "they" say never to go to bed angry, we do. In the morning I have forgotten all about it. Steve usually calls me from work mid-morning wondering if everything is OK and I'm like: "what?"

Anyway, back to my question. Steve and I are disagreeing on the amount of "stuff" and "things" to get Zack for Christmas. I need your unbiased advice and want to know how you handle Christmas gifts at your house. So, I won't tell you which of us is who, so you won't feel bad taking sides.

One of us thinks that if a kid asks Santa for something, they should get it. (Within reason, you would have to somehow explain why Santa couldn't bring a swimming pool or a new baby!) This same person thinks it's OK to spend money in December and add it all up in January, when you pay the bill. You just buy stuff until you feel done. You KNOW when you're done.

The other of us thinks that there should be a $100 limit on all Christmas gifts per child. Period.

So, if child in question asks Santa for a Nintendo DS Lite, which costs at least $130, not including games, then you are already over the budget and there are still no presents from that child's parents. What to do? Does Santa need to give said child something else? Something he didn't ask for? Is it acceptable to be disappointed on Christmas morning? Does it ruin the spirit of Christmas if you "spoil" your child? Is it worth having your spouse mad at you if you go against their wishes?

So, tell me what you think. How do you handle things like this?

Disclaimer: Steve and I are not in a big fight over this, we just disagree. This is not going to cause a giant rift in our marriage.

Hmmm, what should we get Simpson for Christmas?


Nic & Ashley Haws said...

Here are my thoughts... and I'm not a professional. So, take it for what it's worth. :)

I personally feel like Christmas should be more about Christ than presents. With that being said, I know the magic involved with children, Santa, and the Christmas morning surprise! It's all so wonderful! I heard of one families tradition, which I want to adopt... they give their children THREE gifts, which represents the gifts from the wisemen (gold, frankinsence, and myhrr... I don't think I spelled those correctly). Anyway, one gift is a "fun" gift, another is a "spiritual" gift, and another is a "needed" gift. You can change it however you'd like to fit your family. And then Santa brought them one gift. Not sure if it was a "family" gift (like a nintendo or a vacation)... but the tradition went something like that. I personally would shy away from spending and adding up later... that can be scary and things add up so quickly.

Another fun idea I got from my sister-in-law. She has a little poem:
something fun.
something to read.
something sweet,
something you need.
I think this is a fun idea! Plus, it helps parents feel like they don't have to go above and beyond.

From personal experience... well, my parents didn't have a great deal of money while I was growing up. In fact, we had very little. My most memorable Christmas is one where we recieved barely anything. The Spirit was so strong that morning. I was just happy to have Christmas. Sometimes less is more.

PS Hope you guys find a good compromise! :) You'll have to let us all know!

Becca Jo said...

I know exactly how you are feeling. It's especially hard not to spoil when there is just one child because you don't have another one that you have to balance with. Our parents always spent 100 on us. We knew not to ask for more than that.I'm sure that they would go over that a little bit.

When we got older I think that they would spend a little more on one child as an exception. Stacy and I asked for a nintendo together because it would have been a whole christmas for one of us.

What I think that I would do in this situation if you aren't opposed to the ds lite except for the cost, is get one either new or used (I think gamestop sells them used) and 1 game. Then some other little presents.

If you think that he is too young for that toy then just wait until next year. I don't think that it's horrible to spend more than one hundred if it's do-able but I do agree that way too much stuff is outrageous.

I've been lucky with Eli. One Christmas all he wanted was a glue stick and sticky tape. another it was a skateboard and this year is a remote control helicopter (thank you black friday)

It sounds like you don't spoil zack throughout the year so I do think a little splurge is ok once in a while. You should just tell zack that he will have to buy the other games and maybe he will change his mind.

Tell me what you guys decide to do, I have had this problem with my Hubby. Sometimes I want to do the 3 present thing that was mentioned above. I knew someone who did that also.

Samantha said...

That is a tough decision. I really like what the previous posters have said and may adopt that tradition myself.
With that said, I too think it is dangerous to shop now and add up later. When you have more kids (and you will) to buy for you aren't going to be able to buy everyone everything they want/ need.
I know this wasn't that helpful, but good luck!

Jude said...

I don't see anything wrong with spoiling your child a little at Christmas. But I only have one, so I don't need to worry about setting a precedence.

We go for the one big gift, give two small gifts -- one from mom and one from dad and a couple of little things from Santa.

As for cost, we just start spreading it out starting our shopping in October and finish paying for Christmas in January.

Good luck with whatever you decide!

Becca Jo said...

I also like to have most of the stuff be from mom and dad and the stocking stuff and a few little things from santa. Why should santa get all the credit?!

The Haights said...

I find myself agreeing with both of you. I think that if you can afford it, and it is THE ONLY thing he is asking for, I think you should get it. If it's on a list of 15 other things that he would be perfectly happy with, then I would just stick to the budget. Last year, Jacob wanted this HUGE lego set. We pretty much told him that would be all he got. He said, Santa will bring me more. I said, NO because we have to pay Santa money. Yeah I know.. it probably took some of the magic away, (and we did get him more stuff) but I also don't think it hurts to let them know that there are limits. So maybe if you buy him that, plus some games, you could tell him that is ALL he's getting.

I will watch online and notify you if I see any deals!!

The Haights said...

Here's an online deal. I'm not sure if it's a great deal yet or not.

Shannon said...

Well, my boys are both asking for a DS and they think if they ask Santa they will get it. And, you know how Larry feels about the whole Santa thing. I am not about to let my boys think that there isn't a Santa but when it comes to big ticket items that the boys really want, they come from Mom and Dad. The other smaller gifts are from Santa. So, Mom and Dad will give them DS's and Santa will give them a few games. I know that isn't the problem that you are having but Christmas is the one time of year that I think you can spoil your child. After all, look at your last post, "Zack's Webkin". You don't spoil Zack throughout the year, he earns his money and buys the things he really wants. I don't think you need to get out of control buying all sort of toys but I definately think you can buy him the DS, a couple games for the DS, plus a few other toys to be scattered under the tree. Just think, next year he won't be asking for a big ticket item so you can probably get away with spending just $100.
I really like the three gift idea and I would love to implement something like that but I know that I just can't help myself when it comes to buying things for my boys. I won't go in debt for them but as long as I have the money I will buy what I can for them on special days like Christmas and their birthdays.

LindseyFae* said...

I think you should be able to meet in the middle! I don't think 100$ is enough for Christmas, but I think you should try not to spend yourself crazy. My parents used to spoil me rotten and that's what Christmas became about. I enjoy the season so much more now that it's actually about the season. Plus, when I shop too much I get ornery and then I get in fights with strangers at stores..

Jodi said...

Brayden asked for a $100 gift from Santa this year. Brandon and I are allowing it but we're only getting him a $20 present from us. Period. We've tried to keep Christmas simple each year so that the kids are pleased with the gifts they do get.

Each family needs to work that one out. Good luck!

Alison said...

Okay, where do I start? I think you put a limit of what you can spend on each child (depending on your budget, which may change year to year)...or if you spend say, $130 on the one then $130 on the other. But, I also don't think Santa should get all the credit either. As a kid we got a great stocking and one "good" present from Santa (which wasn't wrapped but all set up and ready to be played with) and then the really great stuff was from our parents. I had a great childhood and never remember a christmas I didn't get what I wanted, but my husband is the complete opposite and says he never had a great christmas. So, who really knows what the best idea is. Great question!

LC said...

I think that if your child isn't bored by the time he opens his last present then he didn't get enough of them.

I also wish I was Zach's uncle so that he would give me his $2.

I am also confused what Santa Claus breaking into my house and giving "good" kids anything they want and giving "bad" kids coal and me lying about it really has to do with Jesus.

I like Coke a lot and drink a lot more than the next guy but the Coca-Cola corporation might as well have nailed Jesus to the cross because it and its Santa Claus killed him better than the Roman soldiers.

Mostly the reason kids don't appreciate gifts is because their parents, including me, give them pajamas. Is anybody really excited to get pajamas?

LC said...

And if I am going to be Zack's uncle I better learn not to spell his name with an "H". Sorry!