Sunday, November 28, 2010


It is this time of year again. We are thinking about the presents for our beloved ones. Where there are new beloved little persons in the house there are more thoughts and discussions on presents in the whole family. No matter how old the little person is.

I have recently scanned through this parents forum I should actually be avoiding. Some mothers are seriously asking the question "What to buy for my 6 month old boy for Christmas?" It's not just the question, it's the answers that appeared minute after minute. Parents are sending lists and lists of toys they are buying or "ordering" form the grandparents for their children.

Our son will be 8 months old at Christmas. I do not believe that what he needs are many many presents. He does not even know the term present. How can he differentiate between a present and a household item lying around ? Don't get me wrong - I would not want to exclude my son from Christmas but I seriously do not believe that he needs boxes of presents lying underneath the Christmas tree.

Are we not all complaining about the amount of money we are spending year after year for christmas, the crazy shopping stress in the city centre or in the shopping malls the weeks before christmas, the manic consumption of stuff? So shouldn't we try and teach our children better? Let them believe in Santa, let them write wishlists. But don't let them expect the whole lot. Don't let them expect anything.
I remember one Christmas with my cousin and his sons, three of them. They had sent lists to Santa and my cousin and his wife had then "ordered" the items on the list from the various relatives. On boxing day at my granny's house, when they had received the last load of presents, they looked around the room filled with toys and asked where the missing items from the list were. I was shocked. They did not just expect anything from the list, they expected the whole lot.

So far we don't even know yet how to celebrate Christmas with our son since we are not very religious. But I know that I don't want him to see Christmas as time for presents. I do not want him to relate Christmas just with Santa. I know it will be hard as soon as he enters kindergarden and school. But I am trying to live as sustainable as possible and I do believe in a better world, I do believe that there is hope and therefore I will not give up before I have tried. So I will certainly not start the Santa-present-connection in the one year where my son will surely not realise any of the festive fuzz and buzz and stress.

What I will be giving him for Christmas this year is a relaxing and quiet time with us. Enough time for him to play and discover. Maybe I look through the box of toys I have not given him because he is busy with the ones he's got already in his playpen and quietly put this somewhere in his reach. Maybe he will make himself the present of being able to crawl or sit up.

What will you be giving your children for Christmas ? What's your opinion on this and what are you doing about it?

1 comment:

  1. Nadine, You could not be more clear. Your article reflects love for your son and common sense.
    I enjoyed reading it