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Open Letter to the Mom who Bought 300 Christmas Presents

Gifting isn't an exact science

Mom Buys Over 200 Christmas Gifts |

Like countless others, I saw the photo -  of your Christmas tree dwarfed by a mountain of presents. Even though you posted it to Instagram, someone took it to Facebook calling you "materialistic." 

Of the 300 or so presents surrounding your tree, you estimate that your three kids get around 85 apiece and overall it cost you around $2,300. That's easily $2,000 more than I personally spend on Christmas. But I'm not here to talk about your finances, whether you scored good bargains as you shopped throughout the year or whether you racked up debt in the process.

Frankly, your finances are your business and they're a moot point, compared to the sheer volume. As a fellow mom who is perpetually purging my son's toy cupboard, I'm wondering where the hell you find room to store all this stuff!

We each have our own traditions, and gift giving isn't an exact science. Nowhere is it marked thou shalt by X number of presents. However, I get why people were taken aback by that picture. By most standards, 300 presents feels excessive and a tad compulsive even.

I'm sure you work hard just like the rest of us. That said, I've seen how overwhelming presents are for my son. And I remember the most memorable Christmas mornings from my own childhood, playing with just one or two most cherished items. 

There's something to be said, I think, for paring down, for holding out for that one special gift - whatever it may be. Mine was the year I got a "Real Baby" doll, and I question whether having so many presents somehow dilutes the overall experience. 

Mostly I'm curious. I don't know you or your kids, so I can't call either of you names like "spoiled" or "materialistic." 

That being said, you posted the picture to Instagram so you must have known it would attract attention, and my hope is that the ensuing media storm has given you some pause for thought.

It's totally your choice. You can continue to lavishly mark the occasion by stockpiling hundreds of gifts as you see fit. Or maybe next year you will take stock and realize how little those hundreds of presents actually matter in the grand scheme of the holidays.

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