So plans have been all worked out for my cousin visiting for Christmas. She will, in fact, be staying with us for some of the time she is in town. She will be at our house for 4 days. Her and her family will be staying for one day less than two weeks. She requested that she stay at our house from the 23rd of December til the 27th, but I asked that she not stay at our house for that time.
I explained to her the truth of the matter. I am concerned that Santa will bring her children much better and bigger things. No, I am not materialistic and don't care about her kids getting better things. I am concerned with my kids comparing things that her kids get compared to mine and feeling like they received less. From experience in the past, this awesome cousin of mine has spent a great deal on Christmas for her kids and getting big items for her kids while coming in town to visit. Of course that is fun for Christmas.
I love my cousin and understand that we are at much different income. I did converse my limited means this year. I told her how Santa is bring yard sale and thrift store finds for my babies (well, with the exception of the Pillow Pet and Toy Story 3 movie which my kids have specifically stated they want).
Do I feel that my kids are getting less than anyone else? Truthfully, I don't. If a child is so concerned about an item being in the box and new, that is a significant price to pay just for cardboard and plastic. My kids have never seen a difference in items being new or gently used. I, or I mean Santa ;) , knows the difference. The price! If I can purchase a Barbie horse for $1.00 which is gently used compared to a brand new, in the box Barbie horse for $20.00, that is a huge difference.
So this year the following will be given to my kids by Santa:
Bug- A Barbie VW Van (bought for $5 at a thrift store), Barbie Babies (purchased on Ebay for $15 since it was soooo hard to locate any at yard sales or thrift stores, and this was specifically requested), Baby in My Pocket set (bought new on clearance at TJ Maxx for $7 ), 2 Kelly dolls with little horses ($10 on clearance at TJ Maxx), and a Pillow Pet (I will buy for $20 since she so desperately wants this, the beloved Magical Unicorn ).
Stocking: Barbie Horse ($1 yard sale), Tinker Bell VMotion game ($5 at Target on clearance) and candy (whatever odd candy I purchase)
JackJack- 2 buckets of Legos ($2 gotta love yard sales), small shoe box of toy cars ($2 at yard sales), McDonalds playset ($8 picked up at Ross during the year), and I plan on purchasing Toy Story 3 (I will buy for $20 at WalMart since he has specifically requested this movie from Santa). My friend said she would let us have her sons outgrown Hot Wheels Truck for JackJack since it just sits in their garage unplayed with, but I don't know how certain that is. It was purchased on Black friday at WalMart last year and was already too small for her son as he was already 4 1/2 or so. (If we end up getting this, free. If not, oh well.)
Stocking: Cowboy, Indian with Soldiers set, complete with tanks, huts and everything ($1 yard sale), Carz VMotion game ($5 at Target on clearance) and candy (whatever odd candy I purchase)
Anyways, I informed my cousin that I wished her family to not be there Christmas morning, and she was completely understanding. So the plan is for them to stay with us the 28th-31st. I hope I didn't offend her by this request. I just wanted to make sure my kids didn't feel like they were lacking because of the difference in gifts that Santa delivers them compared to her kids.
Yes, kids do need to deal with life and learn lessons in disappointment but trust me, when it comes to holidays, they already deal with that (but more on that subject for the next post). If you were in this same position, what would you have done? Would you not have said anything and just gone with the flow, letting family come and visit, dealing with any hurt feelings or shock from what Santa brought them?