Published December 21, 2012
(In response to last week’s column)
Get rid of the regifting guilt. If you have an item that was given to you as a gift and it doesn’t fit your needs, it is OK to give it to someone else. As long as the item/gift is new and has never been opened or displayed, and it makes the person feel appreciated, it is re-giftable. If you still feel the regifting guilt, you can always put a $10 gift card in with it.
Do you have Pathetic Parent Syndrome?
As Christmas gets closer, we start to panic. We start to think: “Do I have enough presents?” ”Are all the piles even?” “Will everyone be happy?” “Did I forget anyone?”
My husband and I do the same thing almost every year. We set a budget, keep track of everything we spend, and then on Christmas Eve, we wrap everything, look at the piles, and panic.
Five years ago, we planned everything to the penny and at the last minute decided my 11-year-old didn’t have anything “special,” so we ran to Wal-Mart and bought her a 32-inch flat screen TV. Is that pathetic or what? I’m well aware that I fall into the “pathetic parent” category.
Why is it that we put so much emphasis on the gifts? When did this happen? We put ourselves in debt, stress ourselves out, and teach our children nothing by doing this. We’re forgetting the true meaning of Christmas. I want my kids to think of Christmas as a time of giving, not getting, but I also don’t want them to be the only kids in school who didn’t get the latest “in style” gadget from Santa.
And even if your child gets the in style gadget, there’s always going to be some kid who gets it in every color — nobody likes that kid anyway.
One year, my nieces and nephew got a puppy from Santa. That night, my daughter asked what she did wrong that Santa didn’t bring her a puppy. Sticking a knife in my heart wouldn’t be as painful.
I watched parents fill their baskets with hundreds of dollars of toys yesterday and I thought of all the children we could feed with just a quarter of that money. I know it’s difficult, but we should all try to break the cycle of “over gifting.” Whose birthday is it anyway?
Just asking ...