In what sense do you mean "understanding" it?
I'm trying to find the best way to word it, sorry. Basically the "gift giving" part of it. I know lots of families and friends make wish lists, ask for certain items, and want to look through the toy catalogs etc. Sorry if that doesn't make much sense.
So what year did I first learn that Christmas was just about consumerism and who gets the most stuff?
4 or 5.
Per this post, the time is yet to come.
I still don't understand it.
I knew about the "baby Jesus" from a young age though ;)
I am thinking about age 3 I started grasping it and totally got it by age 4.
But just because he understands it that doesn't mean you HAVE to have tons of presents. You can teach him something different. Make it more about the things you do together. Bake cookies, make things together like glitter art (OMG I miss green and red and silver and gold glitter projects!), Christmas coloring books, stories about the Nativity or Santa, watching Christmas specials together. Just get one big present and the rest be little things he will still enjoy.
I am sorry that you have been so sick. What is wrong, if you don't mind my asking?
Thanks I love these ideas. We love to bake!
Possible ovarian cancer. Scary stuff. My mom had it at a young age, and they found a mass. They want to biopsy it soon, and I got a blood test to see if I was passed on the gene.
Fingers crossed you get better soon!
My youngest is 4 and he doesn't yet have the whole, "It's all about the presents," thing. My eldest is 10 and he has yet to distinguish between expensive gifts and inexpensive ones - The best gift we've given him in ages has been a pack of Halo Megabloks figurines, which cost £5.
Thanks! I hope so too! Its been a stressful year, but the holidays are my favorite! I like hearing that. I don't want to let him down.
I'm so sorry. :( I hope it proves to be benign. That would be the best Christmas present of all!
Hope you get good news and good luck with everything.
Thank you. I appreciate that more than you know.
I love this idea. While my daughter will get gifts (of course :P ) I'm hoping we can get traditions going on making holiday crafts, bake goodies, watch Christmas movies etc etc. She's just two months now, but I keep catching myself in the stores now thinking "oh, when she's older we can make that/bake that". I imagine many hours of fun in our future :)
i don't really remember... i grew up not believing in Santa, but what could be cute for your son is to make a list "for Santa" and then choose one "major" gift that Santa gives him under the tree, and keep up your usual dollar store/second hand/etc gifts... my family never had a ton of money growing up and I was fine expecting one major present!
I asked him what he really wants from Santa, and he said a diego rescue pack lol. I figured I'd get him a little portable dvd player and tons of movies. I'm just hoping that seems exciting for him!
Kind of depends on the age of your child. I dont like the idea of perpetuating that a good christmas = lots of gifts, but usually what my friends do is one "big" gifts and many little gifts (like toothbrushes, small comic books, underwear, socks, or whatever else the child actually needs).
(eta) also im jewish and we only celebrated on the day of the week we went to dinner with my auntie and zeida
Edited at 2012-11-12 10:17 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I don't want to put that thought in his mind, but I also feel bad that sometimes I can't get him certain things. We don't have a tv, so I'm thinking I can get him a portable dvd player and then tons of cheap dvds :)
Well, if you dont want to get it in to his mind, a great idea instead of gifts may be the idea of doing something super special? Like instead of any other big gifts (that gift is a good idea, btw), wake him up to a ton of great food stuffs, like pancakes/waffles, whipped cream, chocolate chips, sprinkles, and other cheap candies and fruits. Have a "make your own waffle bar" as a celebration together, ask him to help with yours, or do a home made cake / cookies together. Then, instead of a healthy dinner, eat the sweets you just made in front of the tv watching his favorite movie!! or even a big bowl of ice cream sundae! Or let him have ice cream for breakfast! Who knows. Gifts are just sooooo expensive... maybe wrap some stuff that can be used by the both of you/house just so he can open them? Like some new hand towels or a new sheet set for his bed?
These are AMAZING ideas...we don't have a tv, but he should have a portable dvd player by then!!! ;)
My biggest memories with my parents (divorced) was when i was allowed to do/get/eat/etc something that they didnt let me do normally. For my mom, this was during the holidays i didnt have to make my bed, and during our summer vacation i got a single box of Reeses Puffs. With my dad, ill always remember when he took me to vegas and let me have a Dairy Queen Blizzard for dinner. Things like those are gold (especially if you have to nag him about these things at all, hahah, like 'playing with his food').
How old is your son?
My daughter will be 3 in January and while she says she loves Christmas and Santa she doesn't really get that she will be getting presents. My six year old has a list a mile long but if he only got 2 or 3 things from his list he would be more than happy!
I guess I'm overreacting. My son is about the age of your daughter. I just feel guilty..and I know I shouldn't but I'm so glad to see other's experiences. It makes me feel a lot better.
I understand, you always want to give your kids the world. But right now you are still very much his world. Like the suggestion above about focusing on spending time baking, decorating, go look at Christmas lights will stay with your kid much much longer than a new toy.
My son didn't expect a present at Christmas until about 5 by the way.
There are always a ton of charities like toys for tots and other small city or church charities that you could always try to sign him up for as well. When times are tough, it could be one less burden that you feel like you need to fulfill and there is no shame! I would just started calling around asap to see when you can sign up.
I do this all the time! The second I get someone a gift I want to give it to people! lol
I do this all the time! The second I get someone a gift I want to give it to people! lol
When my sister and I started realizing that the other kids had a lot of gifts under their tree- my mom did a compromise. Instead of having a bunch of expensive gifts on one day, she did the twelve days leading up to it with little dollar gifts or toys, and on the last day (Christmas Day) one 'Big' gift (usually a new book each and new pajamas).
She would label each gift as 'only twelve/eleven/ten days til Christmas and my Mommy gave to me' - et cetera. It really worked because for almost two weeks ahead of time we got to unwrap something every day, and since we celebrate Advent - the two weeks before that we got a piece of candy or fruit a night. It was also how my mom got away with giving us socks or crayons or things we needed. Even now that we're adults, she does it, only now with sending us more -adult- things like deodorant or a gas-card for five dollars.
It saved her a LOT of money, and even though we realized we had a different kind of holidays than everyone else- we thought it was a better kind of holidays.
Mind, that started twenty-odd years ago, but I plan on doing it with my own kids -it kept us from being greedy during that time of the year, and we appreciated that one 'big' gift
This is so sweet. I really want to do that. I love the holidays so much. :)
It really is the best in my opinion. She did that, and on Christmas morning would make us Breakfast Casserole and Cinnamon Rolls (we usually just had cereal for breakfast, so it was a BIG DEAL)
I'm at her place now, and she wanted to add that she would make it more about the month, and had a whole bunch of 'traditions' that were really easy. Like, going to the local Bass Shop to see Santa, going to the local Community Lighting, spending a day off baking together, spending an afternoon doing puzzels together. And don't forget that some areas do a Christmas tree where you can ask for certain things for your kids or even yourself.
oh man, if your mom's breakfast casserole is anything like the breakfast casserole I know, it's so yummy and that really would be a great thing to wake up with on Christmas morning. :D
I really love that idea. My mum used to almost the opposite, she would hold back a few gifts and spread them out between xmas and new year, telling us that "I think Santa dropped this one behind the couch" or whatever, so that it wasn't like a big day of presents and a huge buildup and then nothing else after.
My son is 2.5, knows who Santa is, knows he gets presents at Christmas, but he'd be happy just with getting Batman socks. As long as he has packages to open, he's pleased.
Well, I happen to be religious, so for us Christmas is a primarily religious holiday. We have a tree and such, but we don't do Santa (not because we think he's the devil or anything, we just don't really think he's beneficial to what we want to do. We treat him like a character in a book essentially, my son knows who he is but doesn't think he's real).
That said, my son is five going on six this Christmas. I don't think it was until last year that he really grasped what was going on to the point of being able to connect it to something done every year.
We don't do lots and lots of gifts. In fact, this year, from us, he's getting one nicer gift. The rest of his gifts (probably a few more) will come from family. Also, we try to get him involved in giving gifts - we're doing a box for poverty stricken kids across the world, so we'll go to the dollar store and pick out stuff, and we have him contribute a few dollars from his savings jar.
If your kiddo is younger than four, I would say spend ten bucks at the dollar store and he really won't know the difference. My husband grew up dirt poor and said his favorite Christmas was the year his uncle brought him toys from the thrift store... they were the toys the thrift store wouldn't take... and yet it's a warm memory for him.
2012-11-13 12:47 am (UTC)
I learned about Saturnalia when I took Latin in high school. As a Jewish atheist, that is how I came to "understand" Christmas.
I don't remember how old I was, but I'm sure at your son's age I wouldn't have been able to tell you if the gifts I was receiving were less expensive or second hand :) Young children don't normally pay attention to that, they just want new things to play with. They don't care where it's from or how much it cost. I'm sure no matter what you get your son, he will be delighted when he sees what's under the tree. One thing my sister's boyfriend's family did for their kids to make opening presents more fun was packaging them oddly (making them look a shape different than the actual gift), or filling the box with unconventional filling like balloons or candy. It's an easy, cheap way to make opening presents all the more fun.
2012-11-13 02:24 am (UTC)
I think mine was 4 when she started expressing hope in certain items. When she was 3 it was kinda fuzzier and was happy with just anything