Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

  • Subscribe in a Reader

« Education and Creativity | Main | Running Errands with Mr. Relentless »



I really like the idea of raising kids to be content without lots of stuff, but how do you handle family members who like to lavish them with gifts? On the one hand, I want my family to respect my philosophy and give accordingly, say, things (or moments) that have more meaning and fewer bells and whistles and flashing lights; on the other hand, I hate to rob grandparents of the right to spoil their grandkiddos. How do you handle it in your family?


I really struggled with this early on when the kids were younger, and then one Christmas word got around to my husband’s sister that we weren’t “doing toys for Christmas.” LOL (That was totally not what had originally been communicated, but was eventually misconstrued through a real live game of telephone!)

So I thought to myself, “This is ridiculous!” At that point I just decided, like you said, that I didn’t want to rob our families of the joy of spoiling them. Our grandparents are far away, so they don’t get a lot of opportunities to spoil the kids firsthand. Our parents also don’t lavish the kids in an excessive way, and I can often see my parents and my mother- and father-in-law trying to give things that fall in line with the priorities we’ve established in our family.

I finally decided that for us and our situation it just wasn’t worth making a big deal about. If the kids are living out their lives with the priorities we’ve set as a family 11 months out of the year, then a splurge with the grandparents a couple of times a year is not going to derail the path we are on as a family. I think it’s the sneaky daily things that I need to worry more about, like how easy it is to watch TV and commercials, or to eat out and get toys that promote movies that aren’t in line with our family’s value system. It seemed to me the more I thought about it, there really were bigger issues for me to focus on. I really think it’s up to each family, though, especially if the grandparents are close by and tend to purposefully undermine what you’re doing as a family. That type of situation would probably need some other solution.

Thanks so much for your comment!

The comments to this entry are closed.