I finally finished Christmas shopping this past weekend, and I bought presents for my parents and two brothers.
The most I spent was around $200 for all four, plus a small gift for my aunt. Spending $200 isn't that bad for five people, especially when it comes to holiday shopping. As I was sitting the mall making sure I had gotten something for everyone, I noticed a lot of shoppers carrying more than five bags. I didn't think much of it, maybe they have a lot of kids, maybe they are getting gifts for all their nieces and nephews, who knows.
Then I heard a shopper say “my kids wants an Xbox and an iPod and my older one wants a iPad so I have to stop by Best Buy...” and I started thinking, that's over $1,000 on just two people. I understand they're her kids and she wants them to have a good Christmas, but am I the only one who thinks kids nowadays are a bit spoiled?
My younger cousins are just happy getting a $15 toy from Walmart and sure, some do have cellphones but my aunts and uncles just got them some basic flip phone for emergencies only. I've passed by the toy store in the mall and I've seen kids throw tantrums and scream their lungs out until their parents caved and got them what they wanted and believe me, almost all parents do. Has it gotten to the point with parenting that you would rather just give your kids whatever they want because it was easier?
If I so much as raised my voice slightly at my mother, I was dealt with at home. Christmas is more about receiving than giving, and I'm a little heartbroken. I'm going home next weekend and I just can't wait to be around family, I don't really care if I do get anything, I just want to see my parents and brothers. What happened to that kind of Christmas, where presents was the last thing people looked forward to and just wanted to see their relatives?
Also think about this, while some of you are out spending all this money on gadgets your kids probably don't need, think about kids who can't even get a $5 toy because their parents can't afford presents or because the kid doesn't have any. There are a lot of families who are less fortunate and kids who don't have any parents to get a “traditional” Christmas (whatever that means nowadays).
I just read in the news of a boy who just had his seventh birthday and instead of receiving gifts, he asked his relatives to donate to Toys for Tots. Why can't there more kids like him thinking of others?
Parents, I think we need to start stepping up and teaching kids some morals and what Christmas is really about. It's about spending with family and even helping those who can't afford presents or even a tree. Spending so much money on kids isn't going to make them happy, it's only going to make them want more and more. What are we teaching them if we just cave and hand them whatever they want?