“To gift or not to Gift”

Gift giving is a hot topic of discussion for us, there are many people who don’t agree with my husband and I on the way WE give gifts to OUR children. I am wondering what kind of comments I may get after writing this post but I am going to go for it. What’s a little risk?!?

My husband and I have had money problems since we got married, after 9 years of marriage we have finally gotten most of our money troubles cleared up. One year at Christmas time, I was on maternity leave with our second child and my husband was working at an awful job at a business that has since closed up, enough said. That was the Christmas that we had to make some tough decisions and that is when our concept of gift giving began. I learned a lot that year, something about hitting rock bottom when you thought you couldn’t fall any farther, it changes you.

When it comes to gift giving, if we can’t make it, we don’t give it. Grandparents, Aunts, and Uncles all receive gifts that are made by me and our children. We make calendars, baked goods, art, and personalized items such as aprons, shirts, and ornaments. We have made so many items over the years it is hard to list it all. When everyone opened the gifts from us we learned that our families enjoyed the stuff the girls made more than any item that we could have ever bought from the store.

When it comes to gifts for our children, we buy most of it second hand. This is where many people don’t agree with us. The first year we did this, we had no choice. It was second hand or nothing and we are okay with that, we hope that when our children are older they understand why we do it this way. The idea kind of stuck with us and we have been doing it every year since 2009. Not every item they get is second hand, there are a few items that are new but not many, some of the items are still in perfect condition.

Something else we have done is asked grandparents and any other person who asks us what the child needs for a gift to give money to go towards sports and activities. Our children play basketball, soccer, and dance, they don’t need anymore “stuff” to sit and clutter the rooms. We are wanting for our children to have experiences, not “stuff”.

I do sometimes have to buy gifts for children’s birthday parties but I will admit that I do have a gift closet, which I stock up every year during the boxing week sales. It saves us a lot of money throughout the year and I rarely have to run out and buy a birthday gift.

I think gift giving the way we do it is great. People tend to think I’m crazy but it works for us. When I was pregnant with our third child I was asked what I needed, I needed baby clothes at the time. I asked the person if she could purchase the items second hand, so we could get more for the money. She thought the idea was great!

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