Q: I got married this year and have an 8 year old daughter from a previous relationship. I write because I am appalled at the amount of gifts given to the children in his family. He has two brothers and two sisters and each has several children. Each child is bought by an aunt and uncle for a gift and costs a minimum of €20. I don’t want my daughter to grow up with this amount of trash, but I don’t want her to feel left out.
They include her as one of their own, which I appreciate. But what about my ethics and boundaries? Should I ignore the fact that there are kids who are homeless for nothing and these kids get so many presents that they won’t even remember them?
Allison replied: Have you discussed your feelings with your husband? Part of the struggle in the Christmas family is the different norms that are ingrained in the tradition. This can quickly lead to defensive arguments as it feels part of their Christmas making and part of their unique family blueprint. But norms are not DNA, and it can open up new ways of working.
Being mindful of how uncomfortable initial calls for change can be will help steer this conversation in a constructive direction. Talk this directly and gently about why it’s important to you, what it means to you as a parent, and what values you want to instill in your child about gifts. . That is the goal.
Gift giving standards are personal as well as familial, and it causes problems when values differ greatly. First, coming to this from a practical place, could you or would you be comfortable recommending a Kris Kindle where perhaps each adult has two or three children on an agreed budget? Or something along the lines.
Some of the most meaningful gifts are charity and I’ve seen children really respond to Christmas stars from Dublin Simon Community that you can hang on your tree.
There is a great selection of options to choose from. There are hats, scarves and gloves for €10, personal care kits for €15, board games for people in residential areas, medical aid kits for €40 , some of my favorites like a bed, food and Christmas gifts for €75, and four counseling sessions or 10 emergency packs worth €250 for those who have trouble sleeping. These gifts are the ones they will talk about and feel good about receiving.
These may be gifts for children, but the combination of gifts that actually give while also receiving adds to the experience of lasting meaning very special.
A conversation about the meaning of Christmas and the true message of giving and receiving is the greatest gift. This is just one of many wonderful charities that have transformative gifts imbued with the spirit of giving at Christmas.
Thoughtful gifts are also a lovely way to show that you understand the child and what is important to them. Being thoughtful doesn’t have to be expensive, it could be a day out together doing something you know they love, like going to see animals on the farm.
There is also a four-gift solution where you can choose from what they want, need, wear, or read. If you ever have two to buy, you may have two of the above as options.
This is an opportunity to discover how to celebrate Christmas in a new way. Note any frustration or discomfort you may be feeling and identify why it is present. Are there other family traditions or ways of working that work for you?
Bring a tone that reflects this. When it comes to parenting, anything other than your own way of doing things can make you feel extremely anxious. The way to overcome it is to try to understand why. What is your Christmas gift standard in your family? What is the story around it, is it fun or is there a negative story around it?
For some parents, gift giving can rekindle old wounds if their family story is one in which children are punished for wanting gifts that perhaps parents cannot afford or can afford. they feel guilty wanting them. Stories about ‘in our days we only had’ or ‘children today are spoiled and there are too many’. This may not happen to you, but it helps if you are curious when you feel stimulated to get to the root of your emotions.
I hear what you are saying. You don’t want this to become the norm for your daughter, and you don’t want to be reluctant to buy gifts that you feel are unnecessary. You may be surprised that other adults can also feel overwhelmed and financially drained by buying too many gifts.
In many ways, children have been robbed of the element of surprise and fear in a culture where immediacy and entertainment dominate. In addition to the conversation, you can talk about what you remember about Christmas, what made you special as a child, and asking about your husband, which will help you better understand the rituals. his Christmas morning.
Intimacy stems from difficult and uncomfortable conversations. Unraveling the triggers that are important to you will illuminate a new path with better destination outcomes.
Allison regrets that she was unable to participate in the correspondence. If you have a question you want to address in this column email firstname.lastname@example.org
https://www.independent.ie/life/health-wellbeing/ask-allison-my-new-husbands-family-give-kids-too-many-presents-at-christmas-and-i-dont-like-it-41138839.html Ask Allison: ‘My new husband’s family gives the kids too many presents for Christmas and I don’t like it’