Over the years, I’ve really started to enjoy Christmas and the holiday season in general.  This is mainly due to the fact that we now have kids and I get to experience it all through their eyes.  My four-year-old still believes in Santa Claus, after all.  And this year, she’s already asking if she’s been good enough to get plenty of toys.

“Of course you have,” I tell her.  And, she really has.  I honestly believe that she’s especially kind and well-behaved for a four-year old.  She’s always getting things for her little sister and consoling her when she’s sad.  It literally melts my heart to see her being so kind and generous to others.  And because of that, I think that she should get some special surprises on Christmas morning.

Shouldn’t Christmas Be For Kids?

With all that being said, I think it’s weird that adults still buy for each other.  Husband and wife, especially.  I know, I know….I’m a cheap-ass Santabut hear me out.  I can’t imagine why in the world I would buy some pajama pants and put them under the tree for my 34-year-old husband.  Or tools or something.  Can he not buy his own tools?  I know I’m probably in the minority on this one, but seriously.  To those of you who buy for your spouse on Christmas, can I ask an obvious question?  “Why?”

Of course, I am a total hypocrite.  For instance, I always buy for my parents even though they tell me not to every single year.  (Sorry mom!) I think it would be unfair not to since they have bought me gifts my entire life.  They don’t need anything so I usually just get them a few restaurant gift cards or something.  I’m an absolutely terrible gift-giver, and I know it.

On the other hand, we don’t buy for siblings anymore at all.  It just doesn’t make sense to.  We all make plenty of money and have nice lives.  There is simply no reason for us to exchange gift cards just because everyone else does.  Plus, there are plenty of nieces and nephews to buy for now (I’ve got ten!) which cancels out gifts for the parents in my mind.  Sorry.

I Refuse to Participate in Gift Exchanges

I don’t care how much I love you.  Gift exchanges are one of my PET PEEVES OF THE UNIVERSE!!!  I will not participate in a gift exchange with you, especially not a blind one where you buy one random $20 gift then play a game to see who gets what.  To me, nothing is more contradictory to the true meaning of Christmas than a bunch of rich people exchanging $20 gifts that no one wants or needs.

Fortunately, gift exchanges seem to be going the way of the dinosaur in most cases, at least for adults.  I haven’t been asked to participate in one for years!

I Give My Kids Used Stuff

I totally buy my kids used stuff for Christmas and their birthdays.  And, so far, they have never noticed.  Once, when my daughter was one, I bought her a new-looking tricycle at a garage sale for $4 and gave it to her for Christmas.  She wasn’t quite big enough for it so I put it up in a closet and re-gifted it to her again on her birthday.  I think I should get an award for that.

Christmas Makes Me Feel Charitable

It really does, just not to my family and friends.  Ever since I started posting our monthly budget, I’ve gotten emails from people asking why we don’t give to charity.  We do, we just usually do all of our charitable giving at the end of the year.  I don’t know why we do it that way.  Maybe it’s because it’s cold outside and I can’t stand the thought of people out there without a comfy home to go to, or shoes, or blankets.  Or, maybe I can’t stand the thought of children not having anything to open on Christmas morning.  Regardless, I do start feeling charitable to those who are actually in need this time of year, and it’s usually about now when we make that decision.

I love Christmas.  I really do.  I’ve just begun to dislike all of the expectations that come along with it.  To me, it sucks the fun out and takes away from the parts of the holiday that are naturally enjoyable.  Christmas does make me feel charitable but I don’t think we should use the holiday as an excuse to buy ourselves a bunch of stuff.  So, sorry Greg.  No matching Game of Thrones hat and t-shirt for you.  It just feels wrong.

What are your holiday gift-giving rules?  Any confessions?  Please share them below.