The Greatest Gift I Can Give My Children This Christmas

So what is the greatest gift I can give my Children this Christmas? Potentially the possibilities are endless, and I should know what they are, as it is hard to escape the abundance of suggestions that are coming my way through all types of media and advertising.

Rarely an hour passes without there being some guidance as to the best toy or must have game, that I should give my children so they have their most wonderful Christmas ever.  And if they have the most wonderful Christmas ever, it follows that we (the Hubby and I) get crowned as the parents mostly likely to succeed in fulfilling our children’s dreams and creating the perfect childhood.

Santa Claus is coming to town and he will be shimmying down our Chimney. I for one would not want to see Santa out of his worthwhile job, one that creates lifelong memories.  Even at the grand old age of 36 I can still remember tightly closing my eyes, desperately willing sleep to come, so that Santa could make his magical delivery. (It’s so long ago Santa was still known as Father Christmas! Can you believe?)

Anyway if Santa were laid off, who’d feed the reindeer?

So if this post isn’t about boycotting gift-giving, what is it about?

It’s about the greatest gift I can give my Children this Christmas – which is…

My time

When my children are the grand old age of 36 will they remember all the gifts they received?**

Or will they remember

  • the excitement of trimming the tree, as a family, while listening to festive tunes and wearing Santa hats? (in our house I always get the elf hat!)
  • how we spent the afternoon huddled together, cutting out card into snowmen and helping them glue cotton wool on so they could make their grandparent’s cards?
  • the smell of the beautiful individually crafted mince pies, that they helped bake with their clumsy and inexperienced hand, baking in the oven…

These are memories that no pre-decorated tree, shop bought greeting card or pre-packed pastry can create.

I can spend the time shopping for these things, or I can invest the time more enjoyably elsewhere – with my Children whilst they are still children.

———————————————————————————————

**(I do believe there will be special gifts that my Children will remember. I vividly remember the Christmas Santa delivered my Sindy House, I was not yet tall enough to reach the top storey. I also remember thinking I might faint at the sight of it with excitement – that memory will never fade.  That’s why gift giving is still, for me and my family, an incredibly important tradition of Christmas – but not the only one! See My Simple Christmas Pledge. I put considerable conscious thought into what I hope is appropriate gift selection but do not put much time or many shopping hours into physically doing the shopping – I do my planning at home and buy what I can on-line)

{ 46 comments… add one }
  • theminimalistmom December 6, 2010, 11:40 pm

    Couldn’t agree more. So true that the gift of time is the greatest gift given to our children. We’ll also be participating in some gift giving but plan to spend a lot of time with family and friends.
    Lovely post =)

    • simplybeingmum December 7, 2010, 8:54 pm

      Thanks Rachel! Just to say also… I have scheduled in some time early tomorrow to listen to the radio interview you gave and have linked from your blog. Really looking forward to it!

  • theminimalistmom December 6, 2010, 11:40 pm

    Couldn’t agree more. So true that the gift of time is the greatest gift given to our children. We’ll also be participating in some gift giving but plan to spend a lot of time with family and friends.
    Lovely post =)

    • simplybeingmum December 7, 2010, 8:54 pm

      Thanks Rachel! Just to say also… I have scheduled in some time early tomorrow to listen to the radio interview you gave and have linked from your blog. Really looking forward to it!

  • theminimalistmom December 6, 2010, 11:40 pm

    Couldn’t agree more. So true that the gift of time is the greatest gift given to our children. We’ll also be participating in some gift giving but plan to spend a lot of time with family and friends.
    Lovely post =)

    • simplybeingmum December 7, 2010, 8:54 pm

      Thanks Rachel! Just to say also… I have scheduled in some time early tomorrow to listen to the radio interview you gave and have linked from your blog. Really looking forward to it!

  • thesuburbanminimalist December 7, 2010, 11:48 am

    Beautiful! A post worth posting! XO!

    • simplybeingmum December 7, 2010, 8:52 pm

      Thanks R – and I must say the reply comment on your blog made me titter earlier! I must confess that for the last two years I have been desperately seeking a Christmas Jumper – and no I am not joking! One with a nice Reindeer would suffice. I’m also planning a turkey curry for boxing day (slow cooked of course)- again no joke xx

  • thesuburbanminimalist December 7, 2010, 11:48 am

    Beautiful! A post worth posting! XO!

    • simplybeingmum December 7, 2010, 8:52 pm

      Thanks R – and I must say the reply comment on your blog made me titter earlier! I must confess that for the last two years I have been desperately seeking a Christmas Jumper – and no I am not joking! One with a nice Reindeer would suffice. I’m also planning a turkey curry for boxing day (slow cooked of course)- again no joke xx

  • thesuburbanminimalist December 7, 2010, 11:48 am

    Beautiful! A post worth posting! XO!

    • simplybeingmum December 7, 2010, 8:52 pm

      Thanks R – and I must say the reply comment on your blog made me titter earlier! I must confess that for the last two years I have been desperately seeking a Christmas Jumper – and no I am not joking! One with a nice Reindeer would suffice. I’m also planning a turkey curry for boxing day (slow cooked of course)- again no joke xx

  • marianney December 7, 2010, 8:22 pm

    It’s so true! It sounds like your children understand that Christmas is not all about receiving presents. I think that too many children expect too many things and don’t spend enough time reflecting on the abundance they have and how unfortunate many children are all over the world.
    Another thing they will remember when they look back: how they had the best mother a child could have! 🙂

  • marianney December 7, 2010, 8:22 pm

    It’s so true! It sounds like your children understand that Christmas is not all about receiving presents. I think that too many children expect too many things and don’t spend enough time reflecting on the abundance they have and how unfortunate many children are all over the world.
    Another thing they will remember when they look back: how they had the best mother a child could have! 🙂

  • marianney December 7, 2010, 8:22 pm

    It’s so true! It sounds like your children understand that Christmas is not all about receiving presents. I think that too many children expect too many things and don’t spend enough time reflecting on the abundance they have and how unfortunate many children are all over the world.
    Another thing they will remember when they look back: how they had the best mother a child could have! 🙂

  • simplybeingmum December 7, 2010, 8:46 pm

    Thank you for your lovely comment Marianne… If they do look back and think that, then I have done my job. I was very lucky myself to have the best Mother in the world. Santa always visited my childhood home and left some gifts but I also baked , trimmed the tree, and one of my very favourite memories is walking around the town where we lived hand delivering cards. I’m writing a post at the moment about why I believe in Santa Claus, because I feel sometimes he gets a bad rap. Santa is a sensible guy, I think it’s sometimes the parents that get carried away with the lists that get sent in to him! 🙂 Thanks again

  • simplybeingmum December 7, 2010, 8:46 pm

    Thank you for your lovely comment Marianne… If they do look back and think that, then I have done my job. I was very lucky myself to have the best Mother in the world. Santa always visited my childhood home and left some gifts but I also baked , trimmed the tree, and one of my very favourite memories is walking around the town where we lived hand delivering cards. I’m writing a post at the moment about why I believe in Santa Claus, because I feel sometimes he gets a bad rap. Santa is a sensible guy, I think it’s sometimes the parents that get carried away with the lists that get sent in to him! 🙂 Thanks again

  • simplybeingmum December 7, 2010, 8:46 pm

    Thank you for your lovely comment Marianne… If they do look back and think that, then I have done my job. I was very lucky myself to have the best Mother in the world. Santa always visited my childhood home and left some gifts but I also baked , trimmed the tree, and one of my very favourite memories is walking around the town where we lived hand delivering cards. I’m writing a post at the moment about why I believe in Santa Claus, because I feel sometimes he gets a bad rap. Santa is a sensible guy, I think it’s sometimes the parents that get carried away with the lists that get sent in to him! 🙂 Thanks again

  • kevin fisher November 28, 2012, 2:55 pm

    Excellent, you know what i have just spend half a day writing an article on the top 10 gifts to give to your children

    http://www.whichgifts.co.uk/Christmas%20Pages/Top-10-Childrens-Christmas-Presents.html

    But i love your article, the best gift is for sure your time, whats the thing we remember about our christmas as a child, not the gifts they are quickly forgotten but the time spent as a family and the traditions, thanks for writing your article. i will add a link to it now from mine.

  • kevin fisher November 28, 2012, 2:55 pm

    Excellent, you know what i have just spend half a day writing an article on the top 10 gifts to give to your children

    http://www.whichgifts.co.uk/Christmas%20Pages/Top-10-Childrens-Christmas-Presents.html

    But i love your article, the best gift is for sure your time, whats the thing we remember about our christmas as a child, not the gifts they are quickly forgotten but the time spent as a family and the traditions, thanks for writing your article. i will add a link to it now from mine.

  • kevin fisher November 28, 2012, 2:55 pm

    Excellent, you know what i have just spend half a day writing an article on the top 10 gifts to give to your children

    http://www.whichgifts.co.uk/Christmas%20Pages/Top-10-Childrens-Christmas-Presents.html

    But i love your article, the best gift is for sure your time, whats the thing we remember about our christmas as a child, not the gifts they are quickly forgotten but the time spent as a family and the traditions, thanks for writing your article. i will add a link to it now from mine.

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