Expensive Gifts Are Not What Christmas Is About

I came from a poor family, so did my husband and our parents. We never looked for charity at Christmas or any other time. I think people need to really think about what is most important, not a ton of toys, getting a video game or all that other popular stuff. I've found most children delight to getting anything, from a homemade doll, even a made doll bed.

My mother did that, she said one year that money was tight, so she got me the doll, but made the doll bed from a oatmeal container and a box. It was beautiful, she covered it with fabric and trim.

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There are many simple games and toys that kids still like, coloring books, cars, trucks, dolls, crayons, etc. No child NEEDS everything he or she sees or wants. It doesn't teach them the TRUE meaning of Christmas nor does it teach them to be appreciative.

I wrote this is response to your article about parents not having the money for Christmas. This is a throw-away society we have now, people need to learn to conserve and make do with what their budget allows.

December 4, 20060 found this helpful

I totally agree with you, Gepe. But, times are different now, parents are different, and so are the children. Children today seem to need to be entertained all the time by electronics. I, too, remember the oatmeal container doll cradle and my dad made me a car for my dolls from a shoe box! My grandma made homemade ornaments every year and when I married I got to take all of mine for my own tree. One year, in addition to my homemade ornament I received a new hair brush. It was a simpler lifestyle then; many of todays young people seem spoiled and seem to expect everything. It seems that the quantity of gifts is a goal and many go into credit card debt to achieve that. I think that if parents don't have money for gifts then they should focus on doing activities with their children to give them memories that they will have for a lifetime. Baking cookies, stringing popcorn, making paper chains, cutting snowflakes out of paper, singing carols and attending church programs, having a snowball fight or building a snowman (if they get snow!), and walking or driving around town to see all the Christmas lights would be just a few things to do. You outgrow material "things", or they break and no longer work; but, family is forever.

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December 4, 20060 found this helpful

One of my favorite things to play with at my grandmothers house was a doll and it's "cradle" made out of a tomato crate. If I remember correctly the blankets were paper towels. It never dawned on me that I could of had something better. I never felt like I did without.

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December 4, 20060 found this helpful

i would like to say every year while our kids were growing up,we never had much money but let me say they love handmade items,so it is a tradition now every gift must be handmade,they are now 24,21,19 and i have a 3 year old grandchubba,all he gets is handmade,i suppose it must be the way you are brought up glenda

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December 4, 20060 found this helpful

AMEN!!!!!!!!

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December 4, 20060 found this helpful

Oh how right you are! This post brings back such memories. I came from a poor family with 2 sisters and 2 brothers. Mom ALWAYS made sure we had one nice gift which for us girls was a new doll. Those dolls had the most extensive wardrobes, created from my mother's loving hands.She must have stayed up half the night making the clothes for those three dolls It was my aunt who made us the cradles from oatmeal boxes with the nicest blanket you could want. I'm happy to know that others have felt the same way about the love that was put into those gifts.

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December 4, 20060 found this helpful

I totally agree with you! I was raised as you were & our children were raised on Cotton Mill wages which weren't much. We never went without I didn't think because we had each other and their love and that was enough!

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December 5, 20060 found this helpful

I totally agree with all of you about the simpler things. But I for one have a DD who is almost 6yrs old, and thinks she needs video games for Christmas and birthday. I try to teach her that we cant have everything we want, because it is just not in our budget. I taught her what a budget is. She appreciates anything and everything she gets, even if it isnt what she really wanted and begged for. My sister made Christmas stockings one year for all the kids in our families, spent alot of time cross stitching Pooh characters on them with the kids' names, and my 2 spoiled nephews did not appreciate them or thank her. They are being raised to get everything and anything they want, that money is no object. I object to that kind of raising of kids, teaches them nothing. I felt sad (and still do) for my sister for her time and effort being wasted on those 2 boys. She didnt have the money and put her love and time into a very thoughtful gift. Sorry this is so long, I could go on and on. I like the simpler life and teaching kids about the simpler things in life.

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December 5, 20060 found this helpful

I notice there are no kids agreeing with this kind of thinking, but I'm old and cranky and I agree.

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December 10, 20060 found this helpful

I am 25 years old, and I feel things have changed a lot even since I was a small child. I played outside, I never had video games. I wrote and crafted. I'm an only child and I managed to keep myself entertained just fine. I never went without the things I needed. No expensive toy could replace all of the great memories I have of making paper chains with my mom or helping her bake blueberry muffins Christmas morning. When my husband & I have kids, they will have modern things, but they will also appreciate the simple things in life. I firmly believe that you can do things for your children without going overboard. :)

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November 21, 20070 found this helpful

When there is nothing left but God, that is when you find out that God is all you need. (very simple but true) Just remember that when Christmas rolls around, and especially if you've lost anything...or anyBODY special in your life.

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November 11, 20080 found this helpful

I totally agree!!!!! I am a kid writing this and our family never had much money, but always made sure we had a good Christmas. When I was eight, my mother made each of us kids a wooden chest and painted our names on it and another year she made me a nightgown and painted my name. Those handmade gifts were the best. Keep in mind you can always buy a pet. I got finches last year and they are great!!!

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December 14, 20130 found this helpful

What a great article. Thank you for writing this.

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December 14, 20130 found this helpful

I also say amen! Several years ago our daughter and children saved money to buy gifts for a needy family, when they delivered them as requested, the house was so packed with presents and lots of items her children couldn't even imagine having or asking for. "Things" don't make for a meaningful Christmas, love does. It's sad that "stuff" is replacing so much in life. What a hollow existance lies ahead for some people.

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