Early Christmas Gifts Best For Some Families
Limited holiday visitation among divorced families results in early Christmas presents for some children.
The divorce rate in America is said to be 50 percent of first marriages, 67 percent of second, and 74 percent of third marriages, according to Jennifer Baker of the Forest Institute of Professional Psychology in Springfield, Missouri.
If that many families are split up, that means over half the children in America are split between two homes, especially during holidays.
With limited time during Christmas, what do you do about presents? My children are with me until the day after Christmas. Do I make them wait the entire week and then open presents on Christmas Day and only be able to play with their toys for one day, or do I let them spend their week vacation being able to jump on their new trampoline?
Weeks ago, I decided it would be more fun for them if they could spend eight days enjoying their trampoline instead of just one. There are a few small things under the tree waiting for Christmas day, but we are trying to focus on the real meaning of Christmas instead of the commercialized gift frenzy.
My children understand Mommy has been saving for a few months to buy a trampoline. I chose a fairly small one with a full pad and net enclosure to ensure they remain safe. Every time they would ask for something I would use it as a lesson in finance. We could either have several toys each or use that money to save for a trampoline they could use for years.
Their choice was easy every time. Hands down they wanted a trampoline, so they made financial choices that would ensure they could have one. They understand toys don't just magically appear. They know it takes hard work and saving to get what you want.
As parents, we can take daily decisions and turn them into life lessons for our children. The Christmas season is a time where children learn the meaning of saving, sharing, giving and caring.
I'm all in favor of letting the children have time to enjoy their gifts when their holiday time with a parent is limited. We each make decisions that suit our family's needs in the best possible way. And, if the results aren't what we intended or expected, we know to do differently in the future.
As for my children this year, it has worked out really well to give their main present a week early.