My Kid Can't Give Me a Lame Christmas Gift This Year

Rant 20

kid Christmas giftThey crop up every year: gift fairs filled with #1 Mom necklaces that will turn your neck an unsightly shade of green and World's Best Dad mugs mass-produced in China. Every year there's an attempt to make money by convincing our kids that the way to make Christmas sweet for Mom and Dad is to beg us for our hard-earned cash and blow it on worthless trinkets. And this year, this mom has put her foot down.

My daughter brought home the "holiday fair" flyer, and I dropped it right in the recycling bin. Sorry, I don't want a crappy pre-packaged "Mom gift" from my kid for Christmas.

That's right, I said it.

I don't want a Christmas gift my daughter bought from someone trying to use her good heart to make some money. Because my little girl has a heart as big as the Empire State Building. I can see it in the notes she likes to write for her father and me almost daily, notes she leaves on our pillows at night and drops on our laps while we're watching TV. She tells us she loves us in detail in those notes.

Those notes mean the world to me. For Christmas, I'd love a handful of them.

In fact, I'd love anything that comes straight from her heart, even a necklace that turns my neck green. I'd like it, that is, if she came about the decision to buy me said necklace on her own, with no prompting, no one dangling it in front of her face with a suggestion that THIS is what you need to get your Mommy because THIS is what the holidays are all about.

Hey, I get it, Christmas has officially become a commercial holiday, and as long as Santa Claus exists, it always will be. Most of these gift fairs are even run by non-profits trying to fundraise. But I'd rather write a check to the non-profit and tell them to shelve the gift fair. 

My daughter already makes my holidays special just by being her. And if she really wants to do something for me, I'll take one of the notes she loves to write anyway, the notes I hang in pride of place on the fridge. They might not make someone money, but they're truly from the heart.

Do your kids get sucked into trying to buy you one of those pre-packaged mom gifts?


Image via Kalexanderson/Flickr

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lissa... lissalynn83

I have very fond memories of the 'Christmas store' back in elementary school (guessing it is the same thing as today's 'holiday fair'). I remember having so much fun trying to pick the 'perfect gift' for my parents. My parents still have the presents to this day, 20-something years later. They still cherish them. And yes, my dad got a 'dad' mug (his said, 'Fathers are for hugging'). Point being, I think it is fun for the kids to be 'grown up' and choose a present on their own for their parents. I'm sure the gifts I got them were mass produced and made cheaply, but because I had fun choosing them and it meant so much to me, it also meant a lot to my parents. It shouldn't matter that the stuff is cheap, made in China, whatever...your kids put thought into what to get you, and you should cherish that. And honestly, I like cheap gifts and #1 mom necklaces. 

PonyC... PonyChaser

I'm having this very conversation with my husband. My position is that our son should be left to decide what gifts he gives us, his position is that the child needs "guidance" and it's not appropriate for him to buy me a Lego set or a Matchbox car, even if said toy is intended for me to use while playing with him. He's bought me toys like that in the past, and I love every one of them - and it gives me an excuse to play!

Estel... EstellaHavisham

With Lissalynn all the way. I remember being so excited picking out a mug for my dad and a necklace for my mum and going home and disaster wrapping them and putting them under the tree and making them guess what I got them every day up until Christmas. That whole "grown-up" experience was so much fun for us. Picking out presents that didn't involve being held hostage at some horrible store buying boring gifts with my parents -- I distinctly remember that being the first time I understood "freedom" haha. 

JS0512 JS0512

I'm with Estella & Lissa as well.  I LOVED that store and my parents STILL (I'm 33) have several of the gifts I bought for them.  My daughters (well, only the 11 year old one so far) buys me gifts for my birthday, Mother's Day & Christmas that she and she alone picks out.  I've receiced coffee mugs, McDonalds gift cards (I don't even eat there), handpainted frames & necklaces that are so NOT my style.  The frames adorn my office and I wear those necklaces with the same love & pride that my mother wore macaroni necklaces when I was a kid.

xxshe... xxshelbyxxx

Wow I'm so happy all the other moms (except 1) on this thread said the very thing I was going to say! I think the OP is wrong in so many ways! How can you say that you want your daughter to be the one 'choosing to buy you the necklace' rather then someone 'prompting her to', when she's only how old? 5 or 6? Kids this age can't go to a store with someone else and say 'I wanna buy this for mommy!' ...these fairs give them the chance to be independant like a previous comment said already and I remember in school how much I looked forward to the gift fair. It was so exciting and I loved picking out mommy pens and daddy keychains and grandma mugs because i also loved the looks on my family's faces when they got my presents... Oh and you know what else I remember? The kids whose parents DIDNT give them money and how upset, lonely and jealous they were watching us all shop independently for our parents while they just sat there. It doesn't even cost more then $7 to get one item for each family member of a 5 person family.

curio... curious1145

I'm another one who thinks you're completely off base here Jeanne! When I was little,I loved the "Holiday Fair" so much. Just as others said,it's exciting for kids and makes them feel independent. And some of the items can be useful. It would be a real shame if your daughter misses out because you don't want to "waste" your money on "lame" gifts.

tbruc... tbrucemom

I think the writer has forgotten that it's not about her receiving some prepackaged mommy crap, it's about the joy the children have being able to buy something for the people they love on their own and getting to see the looks on their faces when they're able to open up a present from them.

Haley Maya Unger

I loved these too when I was a little girl. Heck, I used to give my aunt rocks and beads as gifts and recently when I visited her with my own daughter she pulled them out. She kept them all these years, I was really touched that the tiny gesture from my childhood meant enough for her to lug around that stuff through various moves for over 30 years.

Christmas is a wonder for kids, let them think you think the world of anything they can give you. It is the thought that counts isn't it?

Worki... WorkingMom8479

The season is about GIVING not RECEIVING.

corri... corrinacs

Not usually.  But this year is a hint different because his school's PTA put on a fair.  I feel a little bit better about it becuase I know the proceeds are going to go right back to his school, where it belongs.

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