Recently I have been involved in a few discussions about how to rein in holiday gift expectations. Many people have said that they only buy X number of gifts, or only have their kids list X number of things on a wish list, so that their kids don't expect to get everything they see. Others limit exposure to commercials or toy catalogues or the aisles of Target so that their kids don't become too greedy and grabby and want-y. And I really appreciate those people, because I do not have that kind of self-control. There is nothing I love more than giving gifts to people, besides maybe indulging my kids. The only way I exercise any kind of restraint is by only doing it on holidays.
So yes, I am the kind of mom who lets her kids eat as much candy as they can stand on Valentines or Halloween. I decorate the house for their birthdays so that they'll wake up to a celebration, and keep it going the whole day through. And for Christmas, I make sure Santa totally spoils these kids. Yes, I have a budget. No, the kids don't get everything listed in their Dear Santa letters. But yeah, it's a total toy orgy at our house on Christmas mornings, fueled by the sugar from any and all candy that might be found in our stockings.
This works for us. A big reason is because we are totally reasonable on all non-special days of the year. One piece of candy after dinner, you can't have that toy unless you save up your allowance or put it on your birthday/Christmas wish list, etc. But special days are SPECIAL. That's as much for me and Chip as it is for the kids- in fact, we might enjoy it more than they do. Right or wrong, it's how we do things.
And there is your gift from me- by all means, look down your nose and feel superior because you aren't raising greedy heathens like I am. But don't say I never gave you anything!