The DigiChick

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  1. #1

    Unhappy I feel like Scrooge

    or maybe the Grinch.

    One of my friends mentioned to me that she bought my kids Christmas gifts this year. We've never exchanged Christmas gifts and I wouldn't say that we are superclose. And I just feel annoyed. I've been paring down my Christmas list for budgetary and time reasons. And now that Henry has started school I've got a bunch of teachers to buy for. Of course my friend says that I should not get her kids anything but how could I not? She says that she wants her children to learn that Christmas is for giving not getting, which is great, and I want my kids to learn the same thing of course so how I could I let them accept gifts w/o giving any. I really just want to say to her, "How about we just donate to Toys for Tots (or something like that)." But does that seem really ungrateful and ungracious? I know it is fun to give gifts and I feel bad for wanting to reject her generosity.

    Sorry this was so long. I just needed to get that off my chest. Hope I didn't ruin anyone's Christmas spirit.

    **Creating for Lisa Whitney, Jacque Larsen, and Sweet Shoppe Designs**

  2. #2
    Mimi, I totally understand. (and I think it's a little scary that everyone, myself included, is getting so into the Christmas spirit already!) If you are close, I would think Toys for Tots would be a great solution, and that really does teach kids to give without thinking they'll get anything back. I'm sure she doesn't mean to be doing it to make you feel bad, but still...

    It's hard to be trying to simplify and keep it from getting too expensive, especially when others around you are doing just the opposite. My in-laws love Christmas and buy lots of gifts for everyone...which is fun, but when we're keeping things small while we try to get out of debt, it really makes our gifts seem that much more small and insignificant. I know they don't see it that way, but it is hard to keep all of this in persepctive, isn't it?

    Sorry for writing as much as you did

  3. #3
    I totally understand. If she wants to teach her kids about 'giving'...Operation Christmas Child is a GREAT one! (just google it). We've done this at my church for many years. One year one of my friends had a little get-together. She bought all the supplies and wrpping paper....we just bought the shoe boxes and filled it up and wrapped it....and chit chatted and ate while doing it.

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  4. #4
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    Mimi, it really is OK to simply accept the gifts without having to feel as if you must repay in kind. For example, if she had not told you ahead of time that she was getting these things for your kids you wouldn't really have an opportunity to try and even up with her on this holiday. This is a great time to model graciousness and gratitude for your kids because it is a blessing to let others bless you. Later, if you want, do some random act of kindness for someone else - the Pay It Forward idea

  5. #5
    Hanging with the Chicks! YvetteSanders's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    Ok, I'm one of these bad people! I love to buy presents for people at Christmas - and I really don't expect anyone to run out and do the same - That's not why I do it - I too like to teach my son that giving is important - and yes we do give many gifts to different children's charities around town. But if I see something that I think would be perfect for so-and-so (especially children) I buy it!

  6. #6
    ooooo, you know, Christine was on to something there! You could tell her that you really appreciate it, and that it was such a nice gesture, that you are going to do that for another family, too! That would make it pretty clear that this isn't an exchange, and it also wouldn't be rejecting her gifts, either! Just make sure the kids send a nice little thank you card!

    Like Yvette, I love to give gifts, too. And, I am also in that group that doesn't expect something in return. But I always kind of wonder what to do when someone gives a gift I didn't kind of expect.
    My sorry, sorry Blog

  7. #7
    It is OK to just accept... I mean she never gave you notice. And if you really feel like you have to reciprocate, just get all of her kids 1 thing to share... art supplies, a dvd, whatever.

  8. #8
    part of the problem with giving is that we're so determined that we need to spend a lot of money on gifts. we think that the more money we spend, the more we show a person how much they mean to us. and it doesn't work that way. a homemade gift is just as good as- if not better than- a store bought one.

    plus- if her kids are anything like the rest of ours, more toys is not something that she needs right now.

    a better idea would be something homemade. your kids could make salt dough ornaments- they're easy and inexpensive to make. or you could spend an afternoon baking cookies with your kids and give them to friends and family. or do both- 'cookie' style ornaments given with a plate of homemade cookies.

  9. #9
    Hanging with the Chicks! YvetteSanders's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    I agree - homemade gifts are my favorite thing! Do you have any pics of her kids? A nicely framed layout is a fantastic gift!

  10. #10
    ITA that you should have your kids help with something homemade for her kids...

    but I am SO with you about feeling bugged by this. I guess I'm a grinch too... it would also bug me that she TOLD you instead of just doing it-- to me that always feels like they're *looking* for reciprocation? kwim? Okay, or maybe I'm a total complete scrooge...

  11. #11
    thanks for the replies everyone. I still feel so conflicted. On the one hand, I agree with what Christine said but OTOH I'm a little unnerved by the fact that she told me so far in advance. I just try to keep telling myself recipients should just be grateful and that it's not the recipient's place to dictate anything about gifts.

    And I'm leaning toward to just smiling and saying thanks. I am going to invite her and her kids over for a Christmas cookie decorating playdate and lunch.

    plus- if her kids are anything like the rest of ours, more toys is not something that she needs right now.
    And I'm one of those people too. I really dread the thought of more stuff coming into my house. Nowadays I lean toward consumable gifts.

    **Creating for Lisa Whitney, Jacque Larsen, and Sweet Shoppe Designs**

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