I have always splurged at Christmas. Honestly, I have no idea how much money I spend on my kids–or anyone else–because I buy the things on their wish list and then more. More. More. More. If I think they’ll like it, I buy it for them. If it will make them happy, I buy it. If I heard them mention in passing they wish they had something, I buy it for them for Christmas. I’m the Energizer Bunny of Christmas. I buy All The Things.
I don’t buy all those things for them. I mean, I do because I give those gifts to them. They are “for” my kids, husband, friends, and family. But the real reason I splurge and buy lots of presents is for me. I’m actually being a little selfish when it comes to Christmas.
As a child, I had a good, modest life with loving parents and all the stuff that really matters: affection, support, safety, guidance, love, family. My brother, sister and I were lucky to have all of that. I am well aware of my true life’s fortune. But on Christmas I always longed for more. More. More. More
My parents did all they could with what they had–which really wasn’t a lot. We were a lower middle class family–emphasis on lower. My dad worked at the steel mill and my mom stayed home with us–except he was laid off a lot. My mom eventually got a job as a secretary to provide a steady income. As an adult, I now realize that times were incredibly tough, but I didn’t feel like that as a child. I did learn important lessons about work ethic, sacrifice, and being happy with what we had. But as a child, I didn’t know it was a struggle to make ends meet because it didn’t feel like we were missing anything. Except at Christmas–for me.
It’s not that I didn’t get presents because I did–and so did my sister and brother. We each got a couple gifts and had some goodies in our stockings. But what I had always wanted was more. More. More. More.
I desperately wanted to come downstairs on Christmas morning to gifts spilling out from under the tree and presents bursting out of the stockings like I had seen in books and movies. I wanted the spectacle and vision of abundance … because that meant everyone had all their dreams and wishes come true–just for one day.
I didn’t honestly want all the presents to be for me. I didn’t really even want more than I had, but what I did want was the idea that everyone had all they ever wanted. It was my magical fairytale Christmas of plenty.
I desperately wanted the dream of Having It All to not be a dream for just one day. It was my greatest childhood Christmas wish.
That is why I create a lavish Christmas for my family buying everything on their lists and more. It’s for ME because I’m creating MY childhood dream and it brings abundant joy giving that to others. Seeing the excitement and twinkle in their eyes when my kids come downstairs on Christmas morning to a tree and stockings overflowing with presents is MY Dream Come True. Bustling into our families’ homes with armloads of presents makes me feel like I’m carrying in those childhood wishes of happiness and joy wrapped in festive paper and tied with sparkling ribbons of love. It makes ME happy to give that to others–even if they don’t realize all of that is wrapped up in those gifts.
Knowing what that vision represented to me as a child, I refuse to feel guilty or like I’m going overboard and buying too much. I won’t care about how it looks to others when I give my kids all the love, joy, and wishes come true I longed for.
I will continue to buy All The Things for my loved ones so I can selfishly create my childhood Christmas dream of everyone having everything they ever wanted and more. More. More. More.