Recently, a mom friend of mine shared her list of approved Christmas gifts for her children's grandparents. At first I was confused but soon came to understand that the purpose of it is because she doesn't want her kids to get spoiled, so she limits how many toys they're permitted to receive. While I respect that this approach to holiday gifting works well for her family, I will never limit what our family members can buy for my four little ones. And when it comes to what my husband and I purchase for the kids, budget is our only limitation, not a specific number of toys. In my opinion, my kids' lives are full of limits, so Christmas is the time to break free of any and all restrictions.
I couldn't believe when my oldest daughter came home from school after her first day and told me all the things they can't do at recess. No running, no tag, no climbing, no cartwheels — the list goes on. It seems schools are increasingly limiting what kids can do to avoid any injuries or potential issues, and I get it. Sort of. I'll admit I limit what my children can do at home when it comes to things like screen time, candy consumption, and using my furniture as a jungle gym. Kids need limits most of the time.
But Christmas shouldn't be about limits. Instead, the holiday season is all about excess in our house. We bake too many cookies (and eat too many!), put up too many decorations, and buy too many gifts. My brood doesn't need half the stuff we put under the tree, but that's the fun, right? Getting stuff you want and don't necessarily need? Hiding then wrapping all those toys is always a nightmare, but seeing my children's expressions when they come into the family room on Christmas morning is worth it. Every dream has come true, not just a preset number of them, and it's awesome! So I figure, as long as we can afford to buy them all the things on their list and not go ridiculously overboard, we're doing it. And if we can't afford certain toys, that's when I call in reinforcement: the grandparents, who are more than happy to spoil my kids.
I know a lot of parents are afraid to spoil their kids, but I firmly believe there's a difference between spoiling your kids on special occasions and having spoiled kids. It's not a bad thing to pick one day a year to make your little ones' wishes come true. You have 364 days to make up for it; to say "no" to another piece of candy, to tell kids they can't get a toy at the grocery store, to make them to turn off their iPads, or come inside and do their homework. On Christmas, I want to say "yes." To pretty much everything. And I feel so grateful that I can.