Too Much or Not Enough Christmas Presents?

December 27, 2012

How you reflect on the amount and quality of Christmas presents received can depend largely on the following: Did you grow up in a home where you had everything you could ever want… or did you grow up in a home where you were lucky to have the basics?

Many people look toward their childhood and find a good excuse for why they are the way they are. I have heard people say things like “when I grew up we got very few gifts for Christmas so I make sure my kids get all they want,” or “my parents spoiled us at the holidays and it made me feel good so I want to do the same for my kids,” or “when I grew up I had to earn everything I ever had so my kids will do the same and I give them just a few presents for Christmas,” or “my mother was over the top at the holidays, it was crazy, we got more than we could have ever used, so I make sure to not give my kids to much.

We can learn something very important from these statements… that it really isn’t about how we grew up; it’s about how we perceived and interpreted how we grew up.

You could have been raised in a wealthy home, with many material possessions and large holiday events… and interpret it as “wonderful, and I want to raise my kids the same way” or “over the top, I will manage my home and holidays better.” If you were raised in a home with a tighter budget, with basic needs met and small holiday events… your interpretation could be “perfect, the time we spent together was so much more important than the amount of gifts,” or “awful, we barely got anything, I felt so embarrassed and wished I got what other kids got.”

So really the bigger question is… How do you feel about how you grew up?

Take a look at your perceptions of your childhood experiences, keeping in mind that it was your young, naïve, child’s mind that drew many of the large conclusions you still live by.

Then use your older, wiser mind to re-interpret and learn from those childhood memories. As you emotionally detach yourself from those old stories, you are more able to make healthier, logical decisions about how you want to spend your holidays and your money on Christmas Gifts.

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