I am a lover of all holidays, but my favorite holiday of all is Christmas. There is something about giving gifts that makes be absolutely love Christmas. For me, It is a great feeling when I hand someone the gift that I took time picking out, and wrapping, and of course spent my money on. As a parent it is our job to teach our children the meaning of the holidays, and pass on traditions, if my children take anything from me my hope is that it will be my love of the holidays, and the love of gift giving.
As a step mother, and sharing custody of my son with his father, I have found myself feeling very unsure of what to do with the holidays in regards to gift giving. My instinct was always to just leave it alone, and not worry about my son, and my step children giving there other parent’s gifts to alleviate any issues that could possibly occur. I was so unsure of how to handle the situation that I felt most comfortable leaving it alone, and it worked for the most part.
Last Christmas was more of a game changer for us in reference to this. We were out shopping when my step kids asked me if they could pick something out for their mom, they really wanted to get her a Christmas present. Who was I to say no? I would have instilled such a bad lesson to them if I did. Spending the $20 surely wasn’t going to break the bank, and if it made them feel good about themselves it was money well spent. I think gift giving is also a way for an individual to show their admiration for one another, and I as the step mother have two jobs with the first being to ensure that I do not come between their relationship with their mother, and the second to ensure that I do what I can in my power to foster a good relationship between the two. You may be asking yourself why is it her job, and your right in a way it isn’t my job, but when I took on the responsibility of being a stepmother, I took on the role of being a good role model for my step children as well, and to be the best person that they deserve.
From Christmas time on, we now always make sure that the kids buy for their mom whether it is Christmas, valentines, her birthday etc. My son has never asked to buy for his Dad, even when the kids are buying for their mom however he has asked to buy for his Grandmother on his father’s side, and I have always obliged. This year his father has a new significant other, one which JJ my son has really taken too, and he asked if he could buy a gift for her. Again, if I said no what would that be teaching him? So he and I took time and effort to pick out what he would think she would like the most.
It is honestly a beautiful thing, watching your children have generosity around the holiday season rather than greed. It makes be very proud in those moments, and I can with certainty say I may not do everything right, but this is a pat on the back for me.
For those who may think that this is absurd, you’re not going to spend your money on your ex or on your spouse ex, your entitled to feel that way but this is something so much bigger than spending money on anyone’s ex, it is about your children doing something for their parent.
For those of which who may be new to the idea, or those that are totally against the idea but is a great parent and is willing to do anything for your kids, or even the parents that always do gift giving with the kids but just wants some more idea’s here is a great guide or tips if you may to help you guide the children on:
1.Set a price limit.
I’m all for gift giving but I can’t go broke from it either. I generally do a 10 limit per person for the kids, but my step children usually combine their money to get her something
Nothing say’s I love you more than a homemade gift. I love having the kids make at least one thing homemade, and then they will usually pick out something in addition such as a coffee mug, or something else small. It also shows that you do care, no matter what evil things may have come out of your mouth in the heat of the moment you do actually have a heart.
We have done everything from coffee mugs, to coasters with their pictures on them, even a memory box. I think the sentiment behind a homemade gift is so much more.
Not in the receiving back kind of way, but even in the way of receiving a Thank You. You may be the person behind the gift, but the gift isn’t from you, it’s from the children, just make sure to remember that before the ungrateful, and rude comments start rolling.
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