This has nothing to do with naughty and nice lists. It just has to do with, well, stuff. My kids have too much of it.
We've gotten to a day and age where delayed gratification is impossible. We see something we buy it. A treat here for being good, a treat there because it's on sale. My kids have more toys than they could ever possibly play with already, Santa.
As we go through their Christmas list, I keep trying to tell my wife "No." No, they don't need more LEGOs. No, they don't need more sweaters. No, they don't need more transforming dinosaur car robots.
They don't need it because they'll get it for a birthday, for Valentine's Day, for a good report card. They'll get it because it's Tuesday. My kids have too much stuff because they get too much stuff.
My wife fights off my suggestions of a present-free Christmas saying there must be more than just one thing under the tree.
She makes sure of it. We went so overboard shopping for Christmas last year, that I forced her to pull some stuff back for birthdays. There are still 3 boxes of LEGOs in our 'prize closet' from last year. On top of all we want to give the boys, their grandparents, cousins, aunts, and uncles will want to give too.
And then there's the big sack you'll squeeze down our chimney, Santa. I know you love the cookies, carrots, and zucchini we leave behind, but would it be okay if you just ate and ran?
We already give them too much.
We already give it to them too often.
Christmas is a happy time of family, and I love the kids being in awe of you, Santa Claus, and the magic of the season. And while they may want lots of stuff, they don't need anything. Christmas presence is more important. Isn't it?
Globetrotting Mama convinced her family to do this in 2011 calling it "present free and presence heavy." Sure, it was out of necessity with the family taking off on a year long gallop around the globe, but when they returned the idea stayed.
"This decision isn't 'anti-Christmas', it's pro-us," she writes. "We love the excitement around Christmas. We love the family get-togethers and the cookies and even decorating the house, so why not have more of that?"
Oh, how I love this, Santa. We don't even have to go cold turkey like Heather did. Just cut back. Way back.
The kids could get one gift and it would be fine. Because it is the art of opening the box rather than what is inside it that counts. Watch your kids, they'll just open open open open like it's a game to collect the stuff, without ever really pausing to appreciate each gift.
No disrespect to you, Santa, but Christmas is, frankly, overwhelmed with a pile of stuff. Make it one magical perfect gift, and the day has meaning. Toss 3 LEGO sets, an app gift card, some socks, a board game, 2 books, and a movie pass under the tree, and well, it just becomes a bunch of stuff.
Photo Credit: Buzz Bishop