Do you ever feel like it's enough?

United States
November 15, 2008 10:30am CST
On Christmas Eve when you set out the presents for your kids, are you satisfied with what you got, or wish you could have done more? Did you stop because it was enough, or because you couldn't afford to continue? I did a big chunk of this year's shopping already, it is currently on layaway. Each of my older 4 children got 1 outfit, a pair of pajamas, and a couple toys each. My oldest got the most. When I got home a made a list of the gifts, so that I knew what I had to work with and what I still needed, and a way of trying to keep it all even. I know I'm not finished yet, but just looking at what I have, I feel like I'll never be done. I feel like I'll never be satisfied with what they get. I was discussing this with my husband last night, and I said to him that I think if we had all the money in the world, we still wouldn't feel like we got them enough. I wonder if other parents feel that way.
7 responses
@gemini_rose (16194)
15 Nov 08
I go through it year after year, I always feel that we have not got them enough and yet I know deep in my heart to go any further and spend money I do not have is daft and they would not appreciate it, been there done that. I think we have got them enough, they have pjs, new character bedding, loads of sweets and toys to go in a stocking, just need some fruit I hope I do not forget when the time comes! Then their main pressies will be nintendo ds lites for the boys, peppa pig toys and dolls for my girl and a kids digital camera each. My eldest is not getting much at all because he is going in the RAF in April of next year and will need loads of kit so I said if he wanted I would buy him the majority of that for christmas. I feel a bit guilty so I have got him a stocking plus fillers and will buy him some smellies to open. He wont go without anyway my hubbys mum always goes over the top for christmas sometimes I think we need buy them nothing the amount she spends!
• United States
15 Nov 08
That's great for them. I wish we had a family member who would buy things for our kids as well, but we're the only ones. Hubby's parents are worse off than we are financially, so they only get the kids dollar store toys, which the kids hate, but they pretend to appreciate it. When my mom was alive she used to let me order things from a catalog for them, or sometimes she'd just give me her credit card and give me a spending limit. She eventually gave me her spare Walmart card and on every holiday she'd tell me my spending limit. She even let me spend $30 on it for hubby's birthday. It worked out well. She'd usually end up letting us keep the presents here for them to open. She wasn't big into the holidays since I grew up.
• United States
16 Nov 08
That is very true. I feel that way from year to year, like if I do a lot one year I think how can I match that next year, or top it. At least older kids can understand that some years you have money, some years you don't. But yeah, younger kids will learn to expect it. But at the same time, I understand why your MIL wants to spoil her grandchildren. I'd want to too.
@Barb42 (4216)
• United States
16 Nov 08
I think everyone feels like that at times. But you have to set priorities, bill and groceries versus Christmas gifts. The children are just happy to have gifts under the tree. And I know that some children would not be satisfied if you put more and more under the tree. I've seen kids say, after just opening gifts and throwing them aside, "Is that all?" Well, to me, that isn't appreciation; it's expectation. So, buy what you can afford and don't worry about buying 'more'.
• United States
16 Nov 08
My kids aren't like that... they are greatful and appreciative. We've had many years where we've gotten the majority of their gifts from catholic charities or places like that. Actually this is probably the first year since my twins were babies that we're doing it all by ourselves. Obviously gifts from catholic charities and whatever aren't always going to be exactly what the kids want, but they appreciate it anyways. They're good kids.
@Barb42 (4216)
• United States
16 Nov 08
Most children do appreciate what they get. It seems that most that don't have too much anyway. Or perhaps they didn't get what they asked for and that's why they act as they do. Sometimes they don't understand the money isn't there to buy the kind of gifts they want.
@Lindalinda (4112)
• Canada
16 Nov 08
Love, time and caring are the greatest gifts you can give your children. Look around your house, how many toys do they have already? Two toys per child plus clothes seems to be a generous gift. They also need to use their imagination and create their own entertainment to stimulate their brains and thinking. My sister and I were just talking about this. Her granddaughter who is 4 years old comes for a sleep over one night on the week-end. There are a fair number of toys that my sister and hubby bought for thc child but the other grandma is quite wealthy and the gifts she bestows on the child are overwhelming. My sister tries to mitigate this since it would be sad if this lovely child would grow up to idolize and crave only material things. My sister tells me that often at her house the child entertains herself with a bag of differnt buttons, or horse chestnusts or acorns they collected on walkes together. In my own family we always gave modest gifts. Now to my delight I see my son act the same way and so does his wife. We give a small gift to each other and entertain for a really nice meal or afternoon tea. My own little grandaughter just turned one year old and I am tempted to get her all kinds of toys for Christmas but looking on how much she has already I will get her one or two taking into consideration that she will get a gift from aunts and grandparents from the other family. When is too much too much? One of my cousins is a single mom and when her partner left her she put every penny into getting stuff for her two boys to the point where she never got a new outfit for herself. I used to be invited for Christmas and made every effort to get the boys a really nice quality toy. They had so much and got so much that they did not value anything anymore. Whatever I got them was thrown into a corner after about two minutes. I really got upset since I am on a fixed income and have to watch my money. So I stopped bying them a gift. Now I don't get invited anymore. Sad, but just as well since I used to come away upset.
• United States
16 Nov 08
What kids have and recieve has nothing to do with how they react to gifts others give them, or how they make use of their time. My children are appreciative and greatful for anything they recieve. Their grandparents are on an extremely tight budget, so they only get the kids a couple dollar store toys these days. Last year I could see my oldest son was extremely disappointed, because his gifts were poor quality and he did not get as many as his younger siblings. But he tried very hard not to show his grandparents his disappointment. He pretended to be excited and happy. I think it's how you raise them that matters, and nothing else.
@lilybug (21148)
• United States
16 Nov 08
I think my kids get enough for Christmas. I don't really spend that much on them, they don't get a lot of toys, but I think it is enough. They really don't need anything. They have all the clothes, books, and toys they really need. More than they need really. I stop shopping when I think they have enough presents.
• United States
16 Nov 08
Well that is good! I don't really get my kids much during the year, unless it's something they need like clothes. So most of their toys and books come on holidays, and with 5 kids... well, they don't have a lot that has survived, lol. They can always use more of something. But they're good kids, they aren't spoiled, and that's probably because they don't have every little thing they want.
@redkathy (3375)
• United States
16 Nov 08
Yes absolutely so. I think we love our kids so much that even if we gave them everything it still would somehow be short according to us. Now that mine are grown and have their own lives, grown up problems and such I still worry if I do enough, offer help enough, and give them enough at Christmas, it's just crazy! Plus I believe that giving too much spoils the value of receiving a gift. The more they get, the more they expect you know. So I fight with myself, in one way I give too much and stand firm with less in another... parenting is the highest emotional roller coaster ever LOL
• United States
16 Nov 08
That's certainly true. Luckily I stop when my money runs out... which doesn't take long, but they've always been appreciative of what they get, and greatful. I'd love to do more, but I think that will make them spoiled.
@1grnthmb (2063)
• United States
15 Nov 08
My wife says that ever year. Even last Christmas when the kids had so many presents that we could not see the tree (thanks to my disability check finally arriving). So I think a parent always feels some inadequacy as to what they can give the children. This year is back to a normal year with the children getting just what we can afford.
@camomom (7536)
• United States
15 Nov 08
I do feel that way. We want them to feel as loved as possible and we want them to know we appreciate them. It seems like the more they get the better they'll know it. We want everything for them, therefore it's never enough.