We bought too many presents this year and now we feel gross.
One year—as newlyweds—when we bought too many presents, we just returned most of them the next day. I don’t think the kids will go for that this year. We thought instead about returning some before the kids open them. But, of course, they’ve already carefully counted and recounted them. A sudden disappearance would be noticed and would probably feel like some kind of punishment.
So we’ll probably just stay the course. Once again we’ll overindulge the kids (and ourselves!) and just accept the serious risk that we might raise children who develop into really awful adults.
But the truth is that our kids are wonderful. They gave so much this year. They moved away from friends, endured a dramatic lifestyle downsize, and worked their buns off every Saturday for months to renovate our new place. They’ve supported me as I took on a new job and began travelling 3-5 days per week. And they’ve worked hard all year at reading, math, cooking, choir, pet care, volunteering, art, piano, and MMA. They’ve excelled in school and served in church. They get along with each other remarkably well. And they consistently treat their parents with love and respect.
So while I do genuinely wish we had acquired fewer gifts for them this Christmas, I’m also grateful to spoil them once a year. The presents that they get this year will never compare to the genuine gifts that they give us every day. I’m reminded of the sweet message that Marvin Ashton gave at LDS Conference back in 1987.