Pour Your Heart Out: Judging Someone Else’s Christmas

With just a little over a week left until Christmas, I’m not done with my shopping.

Okay, I’ll admit it- I barely even started.

I’m not sure what to get for my boys: they have plenty of toys and there doesn’t seem to be any certain thing that any of them wants this year. Just toys in general, with the exception of oldest, who is in the middle of a Lego obsession.

I’ve been asking on twitter and facebook for suggestions. I think Hubs and I Santa will just have to wing it in Target and Toys R Us at the North Pole.

But, as I was scrolling through facebook the other day, I noticed that a friend’s status was asking for suggestions for her boy who is very much like my younger two, so I clicked through to the comments to see if I could steal any of the gift ideas.

Instead, I was irritated.

christmas gifts

christmas presents


It’s things like this that make me say I hate facebook. It seems to bring out the crazy. Or at least, the unwanted opinions. Maybe it was jealousy that led her to go on the attack like that. Maybe she doesn’t know how she’ll even give her child one simple gift from Santa, so the idea of someone buying such expensive presents upsets her.

I know what it’s like to wish that I could give more to my kids.

But, I don’t see any reason to judge what someone else puts under their Christmas tree.

Now, I’m looking back up at those gift suggestions and I’ll be honest: most are out of my price range. ย Santa is always kind to my boys but in our house, Santa has his limits.

But, I don’t begrudge anyone who has the means to go all out for their kids. I think if “Santa’s magic” could make these presents appear, my oldest would be swimming in Legos, my youngest would get his own computer, and my middle son would get an iPad just so I could stop the mom-guilt that hits me every time I see that just about every other kid in Occupational Therapy has one and he doesn’t.

And those wouldn’t be the only presents under the tree. I might even be tempted to throw in a few of the least desirable Christmas gifts under the tree, too, just to make the boys smile. We might have a mountain of gifts for each kid to open.

And then Santa would leave an iPad for me, too. And then we’d donate even more to Toys for Tots and the Angel Tree at church than we usually do, just because we could.

But, that kind of Christmas is not what we’ll have. We’ll still have plenty of toys for our kids to enjoy. And they’ll still probably stop opening gifts as soon as they find something they really want to play with, as they have in years past, when we have had to encourage them to look and see what else they were given.

They’ll have a wonderful day and won’t feel like they are missing out.

And if your house, if your children are getting “spoiled” as judged by the above facebook status, well- that’s your right and your decision.*

We each celebrate in our own ways.

Christmas is supposed to be about love, after all.

*Though if you do have the means to go all out, I do believe you should donate something to Toys for Tots or a similar organization. And there’s me judging. Never said I was perfect. Put me on Santa’s naughty list for it.ย 

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    • Shell says

      I tend to think I’d still stick with moderation- but you’re right- it’s probably more about relativity.

  1. says

    AAAAAHHHH!!!! We are living the same life. So… Alexander gets all these “gifts” from his therapists on a DAILY basis = all to see if this is the “one” that turns him on to do more. The twins can’t play with these. (or shouldn’t). So we weren’t going to get anything really for Alexander – but then … how does Santa leave him out? And then there are the twins. Hubs wants to spoil them endlessly – bikes AND A DRIVABLE CAR?!?!? Again… if you have the $$ then, whatever. But really? We don’t. And we …. we don’t need to put it there. So far we have all these gifts. .. that hubs thinks will make up for all the things Alexander gets during the year and I’m terrified my kids will be spoiled. Because it looks like a toy factory threw up in our living room. *sigh* I want my own ipad too. And – I totally agree that facebook is a great place for people to become crazy.

    On a completely different related topic – a friend got her son a leap pad. It is like a kid version of the Ipad – for like $100. Which my twins are NOT getting – even though hubs thinks they should have. *sigh*

    Merry Christmas. You are an awesome mom. Your kids will be thrilled Christmas morning.
    Kristen recently posted..White Elephant GiftsMy Profile

    • Shell says

      It’s really so hard trying to keep a balance.

      I’ve heard about that leap pad- but I’ve also heard it’s impossible to actually get!

  2. says

    Ah Facebook – it does bring out the crazies.

    I stand firm by my opinion that it is not the THINGS that spoil the child, but rather the way they are presented to the child, the attitude of the giver, and if that child is taught to be a good receiver. THINGS don’t spoil a child, people do.

    My children get plenty for Christmas, we definitely go way over the top. But it makes me sooo happy! And each child is responsible for one child from the Department of Social Services Gift Drive. And they love shopping and picking out these gifts.

    Oh the judgy. Glasses houses and all that.
    Making It Work Mom recently posted..A Wake-Up CallMy Profile

    • Shell says

      It does have a lot to do with what you teach your kids and not necessarily what gifts they get.

      Love that your kids give to others!

  3. says

    Wow! That example is the main reason why I waited so long to joing Facebook. I didn’t start an account until I started my blog (late August of this year) because I wanted to have The Preppy Girl in Pink page. I have seen some judgy things on there as well. Not as flat out as your example but still. Your friend just asked for some help and an attack came out of it.
    I agree with you…do what you will in your own home at Christmas but make sure that someone else out there is having a good Christmas too. This time of year, people are in a lot of need. Help them forget about it, even if just for a few moments with some food for their pantry, coats for their backs and few toys that will put smiles on not only their childrens’ faces but their faces as well.
    Kristen recently posted..Dasher & Dancer & The Preppy Girl in Pink…My Profile

    • Shell says

      I do like fb for blogging. Just seems to bring out some fights sometimes, though. Especially when people decide to take things personally or go off on tangents!

  4. says

    I’ve seen plenty of innocent Facebook discussions that just turn nasty. People are judgmental, it’s inevitable. We just have to stay out of it.

    My personal opinion about toys/ gadgets for kids – if you can afford it and don’t mind all that crap lying around in the house? And if they do get a lot of use out of it? By all means, go ahead. I’m no one to judge.

    And yes, some seem to have forgotten the spirit of Christmas. It seems to be about gifts nowadays, isn’t it?
    Alison@Mama Wants This recently posted..TherapyMy Profile

  5. says

    I have no clue why people feel the need to judge people, when 9 times out of 10 they have no clue of the actually circumstances. They only have bits and pieces of information to make those judgments. I could guess, but I would only be placing judgement on them.

    My kids are spoiled by the grandparents. They are not in need of much, and have more than they need. With that said, they don’t have near everything their peers here have. Doesn’t make their peers brats, it just proves their families must have the means.

    Lastly, some of us are slower to get the newest in technology, it will always that way. That doesn’t mean we should hold our kids back from being tech savvy…that is where the world is going. It will not be falling back and if we want are kids to be successful as adults, we need to support their involvement with technologies (with parental control).
    Oka recently posted..Prayer RequestMy Profile

    • Shell says

      I think it really comes down to each family to decide. We go further than the families who only give their kids 1 or 2 gifts, but we don’t go all out like other families… we do what is right for us.

  6. says

    Oh, brother…I guess that’s why I restrain both my comments AND my own posts now. Some poeple still have to learn that you don’t have to say (or type) EVERYTHING you think — especially when it’s rudely hijacking someones FB thread. So often I am thinking how crazy some people may be, but it’s common courtesy and sense to just keep the mouth shut.

    And it IS so tough to come up with boy toys that will hold their interest for more than a few months–and certainly at that age. Thank goodness Kiddo is still lost in Legoland–I’m hoping this stage lasts.

    Cheers & good luck finishing your shopping!
    Vinobaby recently posted..A Gabberflasted SantaMy Profile

    • Shell says

      I just don’t see the need for judgement. If someone can afford expensive gifts and wants to go that route- let them. Though, from how I read that post about all those expensive gadgets- that child got them over the course of several holidays, not all that at once, you know? And we never really know what is going on in someone else’s house.

      My oldest just wants lego sets. Lots of them. He’ll be the easiest!

  7. says

    Where to begin?
    I think Alison & Vinobaby pretty much summed up how I’m feeling.
    We’re the “ask Santa for three things and he’ll get you one” house. Of course, that means a drum kit will be someone’s big gift this year, but she longs for it.
    I wish could offer some suggestions for a 4 yr old boy, but alas I’m in a sea of instruments, baby dolls, & Little People with two girls under 4!
    Good luck & happy shopping!
    Jackie recently posted..Not the Way I PlannedMy Profile

    • Shell says

      My boys really don’t go crazy asking for things. My oldest wants legos and my other two will see a commercial and mention if they like what’s on it, but they don’t think Santa is giving them all of that!

  8. says

    Ahh… another reason to stay away from the insanity that ensues on Facebook!

    I agree… if you can afford to go all out and buy everything your child’s heart desires then do something for others who can’t afford much. Donate or adopt a family for the holidays.

    My kids have a price limit set and I do try to get them things off of the huge lists that they create for me. But I don’t go overboard… it’s not in my budget unless we don’t want to eat for a week or two!
    Jackie recently posted..Lessons Learned ~ ToddlerhoodMy Profile

  9. says

    Facebook gets so crazy, actually anywhere that people can just write things down and not be accountable for what they say seems to do this anymore. Anyway, I totally agree, get whatever you want for your kids, they are your kids BUT if you have enough to completely spoil them, buy something for kids who will never be spoiled.
    Jessica recently posted..A LetterMy Profile

  10. says

    While I might question (in my head) the wisdom of getting a young kid all those expensive electronic games, I certainly wouldn’t openly attack a parent, or other family member buying them for the kid. You never know that whole story, What if the child is developmentally challenged (not saying this boy is) and those games help him with cognitive or dexterity therapy. Who knows?
    Tara R recently posted..One year laterโ€ฆMy Profile

    • Shell says

      He really could be.

      I know the reason I was wishing I could get an iPad for a 5y/o is b/c it seems like the common thing for kids who struggle with the issues he does.

      And we also don’t know how many years those things were spread out over and if some of them were bought for the parents. For example, we have a Wii, and it was really for Hubs and me, not for the kids, though they play with it now.

    • Shell says

      My kids will be, too! No disappointments here. My kids are happy with whatever they get… which oddly, makes me wish I could buy them more!

  11. says

    Our kids were told that Santa wasn’t bringing anything electronic this year because they have one gaming system and that’s enough for us. I just don’t think some of those other things are necessary or age appropriate for kids whether you can afford it or not. None of those electronic toys expand your imagination like legos, dress up clothes, or an actual board game.

    • Shell says

      One probably is enough!

      I think it just depends on each family’s situation. And unless those things are in my own house, I don’t see why I’d need to judge, you know?

    • Shell says

      I’ll admit- sometimes I WANT to say something. I WANT to be judgey- b/c that is my initial gut reaction. But, then I realize that there’s no need to type it.

  12. says

    Gosh I HATE when that happens. Your friend handled that FB conversation really well. How does the old saying go… If you don’t have something nice to say, then don’t say anything at all? On a personal note: I’ve noticed almost every time a “judgy” comment comes out of my mouth, I eventually eat my words. Almost Every. Single. Time.
    Kate F. (@katefineske) recently posted..Lost and FoundMy Profile

    • Shell says

      That is very true- I always regret getting judgey. Even with this post- I’m judging the judging and maybe I shouldn’t.

  13. says

    Oh Lord in Heaven. That went south faster than Santa going to the South Pole. That’s horrible. I’m glad your fiend had some patience and was diplomatic. I think I would have blown it and unfriended a few people right then and there. Sigh. That is a shame. I hope they find the presents they want for their kiddo.
    Lizbeth recently posted..Our sun shines bright.My Profile

  14. says

    If we had the extra means to spend you can bet on it we would go all out for our son. I don’t know what parents wouldn’t go that extra mile for their children if they could. I think it was jealousy from the other mom but who knows, she should have kept her comments to herself. Hope yall have a merry christmas shell :)
    brittney recently posted..I’m starting to freak out!My Profile

    • Shell says

      I think it was probably jealousy, too. And I get that. There have been so many times I’ve wished I could do more for my own kids… but I don’t see any reason for me to attack people who have those means.

  15. says

    Even if I don’t agree with the values of a person’s post on Facebook, there is no need for people to get nasty. My husband and I have strong feelings about gift giving at Christmas, materialism and technology for our family, so I see the person’s underlying point, but that is our choice for our life, and we don’t need to label other families who make different choices. And I’ll even admit if we had more money, we’d be spending a bit more for the holidays. Also, attacking a kid you don’t even know? The 11 year old may be on the way to being the next computer genius, who knows…it’s the parent’s decision.
    Pamela recently posted..Alone TimeMy Profile

    • Shell says

      I do see their point to an extent, too… but I also think that the person who listed all those things wasn’t talking about getting all of that at once, you know?

  16. says

    People are so quick to judge online. Just because you’re not face to face does not mean you can say whatever you want. I personally don’t think a 4 year old is old enough for their own iPad, but that doesn’t mean I would cut you down if you bought one for your child.

    In our house, Santa is better now financially than he was a few years ago, but there are still limitations. I think it will always be that way. Especially with how my in-laws shop.
    Evonne recently posted..What the boy really wantsMy Profile

    • Shell says

      I think limits are good- it’s just that those limits will be different based on each family. Unless I’m the one who has to deal with those gifts in my own house, I’m staying neutral about it, you know?

  17. says

    I had something similar happen to me last week via FB. I put a call out about Elf on the Shelf, asking for opinions because someone “asked Literal Mom” about it.

    Holy moly did they opinions come in. Same way – someone got really vocal, then someone else attacked that person, then it was kind of a “what kind of parent are you” war. I was fascinated and appalled at the same time.

    That being said, everyone does Christmas differently. I’m ok with that. I just wish everyone else was.
    Missy | Literal Mom recently posted..Dinner, Dessert, Friends = FabulousMy Profile

    • Shell says

      People end up taking things very personally or going off with their own agenda. I wish they’d think a little before responding.

    • Shell says

      Or anywhere online, I guess. Though I think fb brings out the crazy.

      Hope your twitter party was fun last night! I was asleep early. Woke up at some point and realized I was missing it… but too tired to join in. Yeah, I’m old.

  18. says

    Even if I had all the money in the world I’m still practicial. It’s just how I am wired. But yes those FB comments got out of control. That’s what is wrong with social media…people hide behind their computers and type mean comments when they would never have the gumption to do it to that person’s face. I love that we can keep up with our friends…but it definitely makes this happen a lot. Glad to see your friend helped put an end to the fire :)
    Natalie recently posted..Dinner and a MovieMy Profile

    • Shell says

      I tend to think I would stay practical. But, I also say that from the perspective of someone who can’t possibly go all out… so I don’t know if I would really stay that way if I had the chance.

  19. says

    Ok, first off, I’ve been busy so I’m just seeing the new WordPress design. HUGE CONGRATS! Looks amazing!

    I’m surprised to see that on a personal profile. I notice lots of crazy comments on anything public but not typically personal. Sounds like he/she is in a really tough spot money-wise and is lashing out. I hate the kind of stuff too but try to have compassion and see where the person is coming from. It’s not a totally ignorant statement. It’s an opinion (granted unfair, rude, and targeted towards a stranger).
    Glamamom recently posted..AMERICAN LIVING | MADE FOR GIVING {SPONSORED}My Profile

    • Shell says

      Just made the move a week or so ago- next up is a new look! I can’t wait!

      I get being in a tough spot. I’ve so been there. Still, I thought the lashing out was a bit extreme. And totally off-topic as to what was being asked, you know? The girl whose status it was is the most accepting person I’ve ever met. Ever. I hated that it turned into that when all she wanted was ideas for her child.

  20. says

    I admit it, I don’t have money for shit this year. Even if I won the lottery or something, I still don’t think i would spend that much money on a bunch of electronic crap for my kids. Electronics are making people lazy. What is that teaching a kid to sit on their ass all day looking at a TV or computer screen instead of getting out and doing something important? I really try not to judge others. It’s their money, their family.. but I think they are just making the problem worse. If you just give your kids everything they want like that, they will most likely turn into snobs that expect to be handed everything. … I’m not saying that I wouldn’t buy my kids nice things if I had the money for it, just not EVERYTHING like that. .. and I sure wouldn’t brag about it like that person seemed to be doing.
    Deanna recently posted..More Opportunities for Freelance Workers of All TradesMy Profile

    • Shell says

      I’m not convinced that child got all of that, all at once. And it wasn’t her own child she was talking about, either.

      I think the decision as to what we give our kids is a personal one. And not something that others need to judge.

      Btw, my special needs child has been helped a lot by technology. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • says

        Oh technology definitely helps a lot of people with special needs and disabilities. I have a cousin who has Lou Gehrig’s disease and has lost her ability to speak so she has this little thingy (I’m so tech savvy, lol) that she carries with her that she can type on and the thingy says it. I just think technology is making a lot of people (especially kids) lazy and stupid. I know many teenagers who can’t even do basic math because they rely on only using electronics to do it for them instead of using their own brain. A lot of people don’t even communicate verbally any more because they just sit there with their nose in their phone or playing video games. I think it’s sad when I see people out to dinner with their family, but none of them are speaking to one another because they are all just sitting their looking at their phone. Their needs to be a happy medium. People depend too much on electronics and it’s making them stupid. I want my kids to be tech savvy, but not to where they depend on it and can’t think without it.
        Deanna recently posted..More Opportunities for Freelance Workers of All TradesMy Profile

  21. Kim says

    There are just so many judgmental people. At the same time the person that write all of that stuff out had to see it was a lot and could possibly be seen as excessive. While she (and especially the young boy) didn’t deserve the comments, you do have to be careful what you put out there. The other people were very rude, no excuse.
    Kim recently posted..New Writing SpotMy Profile

    • Shell says

      It does seem excessive- but I’m really thinking that child probably got all that over the course of several years, you know? And if I typed out all my kids had received over years, mine would look kind of bratty, too. LOL

  22. says

    What a judgmental nitwit!!!! I had an experience like this recently when I posted about how much I hate the polar express. (I’m not a Christmas person) This random person just *Popped* into my thread and ended by unfriending me (as if I cared) for offending her. If my kids could have all those electronic games AND their bikes? You bet they would! They like that stuff.

    Anyway, if your 4 year old doesn’t have a DS and you can afford it, that would be awesome. If he’s rough with toys, the leapster explorer (or similar – that may be a ‘so last year’ option) is also pretty good.
    Jessie Powell recently posted..Two Days until 35My Profile

    • Shell says

      We all have our own opinions and ways of doing things.

      Unless it’s something that directly affects my own household, I let it go.

  23. says

    Good lord, look at the knickers twist on Facebook.

    Without all the info I’d hate to rush to judgment on a child.

    My kiddos have a lot of stuff, but they are amazing A and AB honor roll kids. They’re not bratty. Anyhoo….
    I’m sure Santa will do fine with the gift selection. Did you see the YouTube videos of the parents tricking their kids with crappy “pre-christmas” gifts?
    Heh. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4a9CKgLprQ
    JamieAnne recently posted..Iโ€™m a elementary school Room-Mom stuck in a middle school worldMy Profile

    • Shell says

      I did see that video- totally cracked me up. I really think that one kid though- that his parents worked with him on what to say. B/c he really went way overboard! The one near the end.

    • Shell says

      I used to think I’d still be practical even if I had the means to go all out… but really, I don’t know- I probably would go a bit crazy if I could!

  24. says

    Great post! I have to agree that Facebook sometimes brings out the crazy. It’s so easy for others to judge someone without the facts. Sometimes you just want to share something without being subjected to criticism, ridicule or opinions. It’s hard enough being a mom, you don’t need the “Mom Police” attacking you for making a comment.
    Marie recently posted..10 Ways to Be an Epic Mom in 2012My Profile

    • Shell says

      Exactly! And the 11y/o? Was that one lady’s nephew. So it’s not like she could change what the parents do!

  25. says

    Wow! People never cease to amaze me!

    When you hide behind a screen and type it’s easy to have balls of steel (or in the judgement ladies post, breasts of steel?) and say what ever want.

    Sad part of it is: wonder what they’re like in real life? Must be pretty miserable!

    As for Christmas and gifts and toys … I may not agree with what others think the spirit of giving is but you know what? It’s not my place to say! I do what’s best for my family and my circumstances!
    Cindi recently posted..Spirit of Christmas: Continuation of Birth ForetoldMy Profile

  26. says

    Facebook does bring out the crazies. Sometimes I wish we could just keep our Facebook Page for the blog and not use the personal ones. Sigh.
    In my culture, Christmas gifts are not the norms. Christmas was revolved around Church and the Christ. My son will get one small Christmas gift from me and that’s about it. But yes you said it best, I too wish to give my son more but I know my limits.
    Maureen | Tatter Scoops recently posted..Got Doppelganger?My Profile

  27. says

    Holy cow! For me, the only people I am “friends” with on FB are those who are actually my friends. But I also see this kind of thing on a regular basis. It’s crazy. And there is no call for it, IMHO! I’ve had my own wall blow up with comments like that before. I deleted them and unfriended those individuals.

    • Shell says

      I was actually shocked that a fight like that would happen on that person’s status- as she is the most accepting person I’ve ever met. No joke.

  28. says

    I think it is just ridiculous how people think they can get away with saying anything on Facebook. Good for the people that can afford more for their kids. Mine are getting a 3DS and an iPod Touch. We got really lucky because my husband won the iPod at work. Even if he didnt win it we still would’ve bought it for my oldest. And yes after the holidays we do a big clean out and donate a ton of stuff to charity. It needs to be done.
    Jayme recently posted..Smurftastic Smurf Party!My Profile

  29. says

    I’m not going to lie, my kid is spoiled. I’ll even admit that its much easier to do it cause he’s two and easy to please. As he gets older, I’m sure its harder and more expensive. I enjoy spoiling my child because I like to give him the things I didn’t have and I don’t want him wanting for much if he doesn’t have to. However, it doesn’t mean I will give him whatever he wants whenever he wants and its certainly not a spending contest either. Mami and I are committed to teaching him to value his gifts or he will spend his holidays in a soup kitchen lol Christmas is fun and seeing people you love(especially your kids) is what its about. Celebrate it how you want in a way that’s meaningful to you, that’s all that matters. This OS a great post and your friend did well in maintaining her neutral stance and not engaging the hateful comments…

    • Shell says

      I doubt that your child is spoiled. You may go all out for him, but the fact that you don’t give him everything he wants the second he wants it- tells me that he isn’t spoiled. And the values that your family has will keep him from being spoiled.

  30. says

    Wow! That person was more offensive in their comment (hello *F* bomb!) than that mom ever was with her gift ideas. We cannot go “all out” like that either. My sister suggested getting my oldest an ipad. Yeah right!That’s way out of my price range. WAY! But, she doesn’t know that, and honestly if it wasn’t out of my price range, and that was something we could afford. I’d buy it!
    Adrienne recently posted..Finally Free!My Profile

    • Shell says

      Way out of ours, too, girl. I get it.

      I was shocked by how far off-topic that post ended up getting.

      And when I asked for suggestions, I was given ideas that I can’t afford- I just thanked people for their suggestions.

  31. says

    I feel the same way as you. I don’t think that I would have jumped all over that girl for suggesting things like that, and she’s right…things are different in different parts of the Country. Heck, even if different parts of the city things are different. We were at a park this Summer in our downtown area, which is very nice…and a man was pulling his child in a wagon and the child…probably not much older than four or five was playing on an iPad. Now, was the iPad his? I don’t know. But I thought it was odd, and for a second thought that it was crazy to give a five year old a 500 dollar piece of electronic equipment, but then I thought that if I had the money, we would all have iPads in this family. And that one commenter was right, you can give your kids a lot and that doesn’t mean that they’re going to be spoiled. But, reasons like yours are why I hate FB at times too. And people say what they want on there, because they’re not face to face with the other person…and sometimes they may not even know the other person.

    I have a girl, so I know this doesn’t help…but she’s getting a few Leap Pad games (all bought on sale, b1g1), a 7 Princess doll set from Target (bought on Black Friday for 40), a Rapunzel dress & Toddler Rapunzel doll (bought at Target buy one get one half off, 30 dollars total), a pair of Sperry Rainboots (17 dollars from 6pm.com), some pajamas that I got on sale, hat and gloves. We didn’t break 200 dollars on her, and we got her extra stuff b/c the sales were so good. I had to buy for my nephew who is just over a year old, and I had NO IDEA what to buy! I know nothing about boys! But if I were in your shoes, I would just go for the basics. Crayons, legos, books, movies, remote control cars…stuff like that. Hope that helps.
    Samantha recently posted..A Kinda Wordless Wednesday – She’s HappyMy Profile

    • Shell says

      It’s true that we never really know the full story. When we are at my 5y/o’s occupational therapy, I see so many kids with iPads in the waiting room. And some of them are very young. But, are they just theirs? I don’t know. And they are helping them, too, so that’s different, too.

      Sounds like you did great for Christmas!

  32. says

    Oh, that’s annoying.

    As far as spoiling goes, I don’t think it’s about the monetary put out but the attitude involved, so how can someone determine that from Facebook?

    I have a friend that goes crazy overboard at Christmas (all holidays, really) but what bugs me is the way she approaches it. Amazon lists to everyone, but then also, if you are buying something for another child who will be at the same party, her kids also need THAT gift, in addition to their own gifts, because they can’t see someone getting something that they don’t.

    • Shell says

      It definitely has a lot to do with attitude and how it’s approached.

      That friend of yours? Would irritate me!

    • Shell says

      Yup, click away.

      I even hesitated to even write this. But, it was still bugging me days later, so I thought I’d get it out.

  33. says

    I never understand why people have to get down-right nasty when giving their opinion — or rather slamming you over the head with it. Even though I may agree with the simple truth that I also think we are over-indulging our children these days — it’s still every parents’ choice.

    Really, why do I care? I don’t have to live with your teen who will inevitably expect you to buy a car at age 16 – and not a crap one; pay for their continuing education until what about 26?, and then of course, move back in to your house because they can’t find a job that will pay them enough money to buy all thing things You used to buy for them.

    For me, its not just about too many gifts; of course we’d all love to give our children their hearts desire. or missing the meaning of the holiday — it’s the long range too. We have a responsibility to prepare for the tough world out there. And I am quite certain no one in the real world will be so indulgent. My only concern is that spoiling kids never teaches them to accept “no.” Or even “wait.”

    Plus…. no way my kids are receiving presents that cost more than anything I own. My kids wanted the Wii this year. Um, no. However, if they could agree on the decision to pool all their birthday and christmas money: they could buy it themselves. Shortest jedi counsel meeting evah!
    they don’t have to know about Kiijji – right? (used items saleboard)
    RoryBore recently posted..Wordless/Wordy Wednesday – No Wonder I’m TiredMy Profile

    • Shell says

      I do think that as long as it’s not my kids and I don’t have to deal with the fallout- it’s really not my business how much someone wants to buy their kids.

  34. says

    Wowser!! I will try not to judge the moms who feel the need to provide everything and anything to their children. I choose not to, though my kids certainly don’t want for anything (they’d never even dream of asking for a 50 inch tv or ipad for themselves). But that’s the beauty of freedom – we can all choose to do as we wish. FB is creepy, however, when people choose to openly express their opinions you know they would never dare to say face-to-face. Embarrassing.

    Off to take my gifts to the church for a few kids who may only have that one gift to open on Christmas day.
    Amy ~ Eat. Live. Laugh. Shop. recently posted..Boozy Chocolate Bourbon Cake.My Profile

  35. says

    Oh. My. Goodness! That is ridiculous! I want to hug your friend! If people have the money and means to provide gifts to their children–why not? Probably someone who can buy an iPad for an 11 year old is giving to others as well (but likely had too much tact to say advertise their giving heart…. plus when we give, aren’t we NOT supposed to let our right hand what our left hand is doing …). My other pet-peeve with this situation is the person saying that people with money should spend it on others. Person, if you make more than $2/day YOU are among the wealthiest in the world which means the judgmental person should get off facebook and go spend his/her/hir money on someone else …
    Where is the ME in Mommy? recently posted..What I Think About: Big BirthdaysMy Profile

    • Shell says

      That is true- I’d hope they were giving, too.

      Though, maybe I’m judgey about this- b/c I think everyone can find some way to give to someone in need at Christmas. We even did during our leanest Christmases. Not everything that you give has to cost money.

  36. says

    While I actually tend to agree with the sentiments of the crazy-judgey lady (A 50-inch TV for an 11-year-old? Really?), her approach was WAAAAY out of line. Rule #1 of Facebook Etiquette: You don’t go on someone else page and start a shitstorm, much less drop the f-bomb. I mean, sheesh. What is wrong with people? If you wouldn’t say it to someone’s face, DON’T PUT IT ON FACEBOOK. And I agree that her over-the-top response was probably borne out of jealousy or frustration that she can’t provide such gifts for her kid(s). Usually when someone has such a strong reaction as that, there’s a personal issue at play.

    Now, getting back to what she said, I should clarify that I do not judge the kid in that case. That’s completely unfair and your friend was spot on in her very diplomatic response.


    I don’t think an 11YO (much less a 4YO) needs or should have all the electronics mentioned in that post. That’s just me – I have strong feelings about much exposure kids should have to electronics. But IMO, the fault lies with the parents and/or family who are bestowing such gifts, not the kid.

    And that’s me being judgey. :)
    Kristin @ What She Said recently posted..Santa Claus: Friend or Foe?My Profile

    • Shell says

      It does seem like a lot- but we have no way of knowing how many years all those gifts were spread out over and if the child got some of it b/c it was really for the parents and just ended up with him after they were done with it.

      It is up to the parents to decide how much they want to give their kids. I imagine by the time my boys are that age, if I were to make a list of all the electronics they have, it would probably be really long.

  37. says

    As much as I would like to read all the comments about this post, I cannot. But I skimmed a few and I could not agree more with Making it Work Mom when she said “I stand firm by my opinion that it is not the THINGS that spoil the child, but rather the way they are presented to the child, the attitude of the giver, and if that child is taught to be a good receiver. THINGS donโ€™t spoil a child, people do.”
    Amen to that.
    I wish I could spoil my children more, then God delivers a heart wrenching message through some one at church and I stop and realize, my children ARE spoiled. There are children out there right now, who on Christmas morning will not get the “magic” of Santa.
    But it bothers me when there are people bragging about what their kid has and oh how I wish I could buy them X, Y or Z. (items that I think an adult should have) But you won’t find me attacking them on Facebook. It’s their problem, even if I don’t agree with them.
    Tiffany recently posted..PYHO: Admitting your child has a problemMy Profile

    • Shell says

      It is the parents who spoil, not the gifts.

      As for what each family decides to give their kids, I’d never presume to say what someone should or shouldn’t give a child- especially not knowing their situation.

  38. says

    The judging crap makes me cringe, and if my friend were calling out another on my FB page {which is all personal friends}, I’d unfriend her. She’s got her reasons, I’m sure, but commenting on my post isn’t the place to hash it out.

    I’ve said before, we have the means to spoil our kids rotten. But we don’t. Whatever we do give to them, I know it’s not nearly as much as some of their friends. I’m ok with that, it’s our decision. And every year we adopt a child thru daycare, do toys for tots and this year I did that anon gift to a struggling family. My kids help with those things. We’re trying to let them know that not only their toys, but their clothes and food are treasures that not every kid has access to.
    MommaKiss recently posted..Sweet RideMy Profile

  39. says

    I have a friend just like that judgy woman, who clearly wishes for more in her life so she lashes out at others who she feels have more than she does. She always assumes everyone thinks they’re better than her, because she secretly feels that they are. I’m sad to say it, but I was relieved when she and I started spending less time together because she was pretty toxic.

    And I agree with the above – things don’t spoil a child, people do. The *things* in a child’s life are only one small part of their life. The kid could be volunteering every day after school for heaven’s sake. Ridiculous.
    Mrs. Jen B recently posted..Wellness Wednesday: Coping With ColitisMy Profile

  40. says

    Let me just say…I dream of being able to get my kids all the latest. That person acted in a mean-spirited way. I agree, that she is probably hurting because she is like we are. Completely unable. But in the off chance she isn’t, she is in a sadder state because she ranks and values people by what they own or don’t own. It is tempting in the world we live in. But had to be a very painful way to live.

    Facebook really brings out all our inner tweens, doesn’t it?

    I don’t think sadder is a word, but it IS a condition.
    Maggie S. recently posted..The Right Way and the Other WayMy Profile

    • Shell says

      It really does bring out the childish in people! I get hurting- I really and truly do. I’ve had years when I knew the things that friends were getting for their kids and I wished I could get those for my kids. But, I never thought anything bad about them b/c they were able to and I wasn’t.

  41. says


    FB + Holidays = Crazy People

    My daughter’s Christmas list had a couple of big ticket items on it this year {cell phone, her own computer}. I wasn’t exactly sure that we would be able to get ANY of it for her. . . But we stumbled upon a really cheap cell at Walmart {pre-paid, no contract and pretty basic but perfect for a nine year old} so we bought it for her. . . The in-laws said they would go in on a laptop for her if we could find one decently priced. And that’s when we found the mini-netbook. VERY decently priced and will let her do the things that she wants to do with a computer.

    Now, if buying these things means that we are spoiling her. . . Well, I really don’t know what to say. Because we try to give her the things that she wants {although not always exactly WHEN she wants them}. . . And if I can find it at a good price? Then heck yeah I will get it for her. . .

    I think your friend handled the situation well, although she probably regretted asking for suggestions after all that. I know I would have. Heh.

    • Shell says

      I would have regretted it, too. I’m sure she had no idea it would go in that direction when she asked her question.

      You did a great job at finding deals!

  42. says

    That’s one of the reasons I *sometimes* hate FB. Another is the bragging status updates, esp. from the people who only update when they have something to brag about.

    Santa practices moderation here, and we sponsor a single-mom holiday family every year. I’d like to think we help her worry about one less thing and her children get gifts!
    Carolyn recently posted..Because of My Nana and DadMy Profile

  43. says

    I know your post isn’t really about facebook, but that’s what I hate about it too. I put a statement up that our MDO director brought up the idea of splitting my twins up into different classes, and I got mostly positive responses from moms who had done it and loved the results, but there was that one response that {to me} insinuated that the school was pressuring me and that she hated that people thought twins needed to be separated to form their own identities. That ONE comment made me question all of my instincts.

    Ok thanks for letting me vent in your comments. :) I hope your family has a wonderful Christmas and that you got some ideas for your boys!
    Leigh Ann recently posted..High on life. Or sugar.My Profile

    • Shell says

      As if it’s not hard enough to make choices like that- and then you get some know-it-all making snarky comments. SIGH.

  44. says

    If I’m completely honest I was a bit shocked when reading the list of what the 11 year old had. BUT, I would never call anyone out for it because I don’t know their circumstances or the kid/family. I hate when people get so judgy on FB.
    Hutch recently posted..I Can Breathe Again!My Profile

    • Shell says

      It does sound like a lot. But, I don’t know how many years it took for him to get all that or if some of it is really the family’s- like the Wii that Hubs and I bought for us several years ago- yet we could say our boys have it, kwim?

  45. says

    I wouldn’t call anyone out on FB, but I’ll be honest, I would most definitely judge, It’s my New Year’s Resolution, after all! :) I do think you can give kids tons of things and still have them be well balanced, good kids.

    But I will say, as someone who has worked with teenagers for almost 15 years, I see SO MUCH entitlement from them, and most of them are the ones who have been given everything. Both monetary and emotional.
    Kristina P. recently posted..The True Meaning of Christmas Is Celebrity and FameMy Profile

    • Shell says

      I do hate the entitlement- though I think that comes from how the parents treat their kids even more than it does with the material.

  46. says

    Sometimes I feel bad when I see kids like that because we can’t always afford crazy gifts here. But I try not to judge, like your friend said, we don’t know that kid. Who are we to say what he should have or not. I agree with your suggestion for donation. We always do a sweep of old toys after xmas to clear up space and to give back.
    Anastasia recently posted..Cleaning House-RemembeREDMy Profile

  47. says

    You know this year we’re not buying presents. Not for each other, not for others. We’re spending all that money to go to West Virginia to visit my in laws and my family. I haven’t felt this “free” at Christmas in years. I am overwhelmed every year because I can’t afford things but I want to buy things for people,s o I overspend. This year? none of that. Just love. I got pretty much anything I wanted as a child, but I was far from spoiled…in fact, I was so grateful for everything I had.
    Amanda Austin recently posted..We’re here to see a man about some toysMy Profile

    • Shell says

      That sounds so lovely!

      I would love to go on a vacation one Christmas instead of doing presents. And just focus on being together.

  48. says

    My first inclination is to assume that kid is spoiled rotten too. BUT, it’s true, we don’t actually know so we can’t judge. And yes, Facebook is always like that. Ppl think they can say whatever they want to.

    Anyway, I have actually been meaning to suggest to you an “experiences” gift for your boys. Like passes to a local attraction, movie tickets, show tickets…. We have a great Children’s Museum, a place called Jungle Playland, the Pacific Science Center, Museum of Flight, movie theaters, stage theaters, ferry rides… I bet you have some stuff like that too.

    Wishing you luck!
    Just Jennifer recently posted..My PrioritiesMy Profile

    • Shell says

      You’re right- we have no idea what is going on with that child.

      I’d love to do experiences like that- we did before… when we lived near a city that had them. Living in the middle of nowhere now.

  49. says

    Facebook is like this magical place where people feel they can say whatever they want, whenever they want. It’s like all common sense and morals are thrown out the window. I would bet money that person wouldn’t have said that to your friends face. People are so ballsy on Facebook. My kids have quiet a few tech toys. My oldest has a laptop, PSP, DS, Ipod and is getting a cell phone this year. He is 10. We DON’T have a lot of money. I have managed to find things at great deals or used, the ipod was purchased BY MY SON! He saved and saved, so I would say he HAS learned some important values. People are so quick to judge based a fraction of what they know, I admit it is hard to see parents that can get their kids whatever easily, but I also know I wouldn’t be where I am today without the struggles i have and am going through. I think people also need to realize technology is just a part of today’s living. Okay, I am done lol, I just get so irritated with people on Facebook too!
    Danielle recently posted..The Hardest Thing I Have Yet To Blog AboutMy Profile

  50. Life As Wife says

    Ok I’ll admit it, I was judging when I read that Facebook conversation! Yes I think it’s a little overboard to have all those things for your child but mostly I’m just jealous/sad that not every kid gets to experience that.

    You’re right though, just because a child has all of that doesn’t mean they’re a bad kid…
    Life As Wife recently posted..Wordless Wednesday: Beginning to Look a Lot Like ChristmasMy Profile

    • Shell says

      It does seem like a lot- though I’m assuming that he got those things over the course of several years and not all under the tree one year. It’s still a lot, but if I started listing things from years past, I could easily make my kids seem spoiled, even though we are conservative with presents.

  51. says

    Holy. What is it about facebook that brings out that kind of behaviour in people? a) who cares what some other kid has or doesn’t have, for all we know he’s a product of a broken home and has parents who are buying stuff to overcompensate when all he really wants is everyone together, b) it’s no one else’s business how much money is spent at Christmas, there will be always someone spending more and spending less than you, and c) I completely agree, it is possible to be spoiled without being a spoiled brat. OH I HATE WHEN PEOPLE GET ALL JUDGY. I swear it’s the lack of face-to-face interaction that is facebook.

  52. says

    Interesting that such a simple question could spark something so nasty. I once commented a joke on my nieces somment thread, and pretty much got crucified. Luckily, she addressed it to the person, explained that I was her aunt and if he ever did that again, he was going to be blocked. Granted her launguage was MUCH more colorful.
    As for Christmas gifts, I think it’s up to parents to make the decions for their own families. In hindsight, I always felt like I did too much, but this year when I gave my son and his family their Christmas early, it consisted of two fairly inexpensive stuff and they were crying with happiness. His words…”you always hit a home run mom”. So really, I think it comes down to parental discretion and leave the judgy mcjudger away.
    mCat recently posted..Do you like what I like?My Profile

  53. says

    I really really really hate when people get all judgy. And I hate how some people act like typing words is different from saying them to someone’s face. On the other hand, I love this post, I love Christmas, I love budgets and living within them, and I love, within reason, to make my kids and husband happy with what they open on Christmas morning. You’ve made me think today!
    Pamela recently posted..A Book GIVEAWAY (Woot!), JIT for the HolidaysMy Profile

    • Shell says

      So glad to hear it!

      My boys have always had a great Christmas- even though we have a modest budget for their gifts. They’ve only been happy with their presents.

  54. says

    Christmas judging is completely the OPPOSITE of the Christmas spirit isn’t it??
    I think you are probably right… that judgey mama was jealous and worried about her own Christmas budget (or lack-of).

    Our kids are BLESSED, because they have what they need, and some of what they want.
    SPOILED is where we forget to also teach them the lessons about gratitude and generosity.

    I hope my kids will always be blessed… but hopefully never spoiled.
    We’re having a Christmas party next week to celebrate the start of our summer holidays (we are in NZ Christmas is in summer)… instead of bring gifts for the guests, we are asking each family to bring a gift to donate to the children at the City Mission.
    This time of year I’m always scouting for opportunities to teach my kids that others don’t have what they have…

    Love your post Shell – as always!
    Simone @Greatfun4kids recently posted..My Christmas Book is Finished…My Profile

  55. says

    Oh My Goodness! I feel the same way about Facebook, though I can’t quit it because it is the very crazy comments that makes it so entertaining. I have a few distant relatives that like to post passively aggressive comments on each others updates. Nothing like airing your dirty for all too see!
    Angie@MamaInsomnia recently posted..#iPPP recipeMy Profile

    • Shell says

      I’ll admit- that sometimes the drama just entertains me. Especially when it’s not actually directed towards me. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  56. says

    It’s really hard to decide what and how much to get your kids at Christmas … I’m having some of the same questions. I think what makes it hard in this society is that we all feel like we’re really missing out on things we ‘need’ if we see somebody else in our similar situation who has something that we do not. When, in reality, there isn’t a lot that anybody really ‘needs’ as a Christmas gift. They’re almost always indulgences (at least in my family – I know this isn’t true for everyone).

    Good luck finding gifts … I have no suggestions for you since I only have a 2-year-old girl. Sorry!
    Jenn recently posted..My Christmas ListMy Profile

    • Shell says

      It really is mostly indulgences.

      And when I look at the disaster that is my boys’ toy room right now, I cannot think of anything they actually need. Except socks. B/c those seem to disappear. LOL

    • Shell says

      That’s how I feel about mine- they do have a lot of toys- I don’t feel like we need to double that every Christmas.

  57. says

    seriously, that is the dumbest thing I have ever read. We are grown adults and people want to judge other people on what they do with there kids. Shame, shame, shame. That poor girl just wanted ideas for her kid.

    On the other note, I sorta just finished my Christmas shopping – and call me bad, but I didn’t buy my 2 month newborn nothing, since I have everything I need from our baby shower. Am I a bad parent?
    Just Cherish today recently posted..Being at home. . .My Profile

    • Shell says

      My oldest was 2 weeks old on his first Christmas- yeah, he didn’t get anything that year. It’s not like he could even attempt to unwrap- and we’d just bought so much to prepare for his arrival!

  58. says

    Things like this make me glad FB didn’t exist when I was a teenager- people can just be downright mean and judgmental and it is much easier to do when you aren’t looking the person in the face as you type these things.
    My kids are totally spoiled abd it is driving me crazy this year- so we have been spending extra time talking about gratitude and how hard Eric works to provide for us and looking for ways to give to others.
    I have to say in all honesty my eyes buldged a little when I read all that the 11-year-old has. I just do hope his parents are teaching him good values or they might be setting him up for a world of dissapointment when he hits the real world- and money issues is often one of the core reasons for marriage problems.

    • Shell says

      FB, twitter, even just texting- I’m so glad it wasn’t around when I was a teenager!

      I have no idea how many years it took for that child to get all of that or if some is really another family member’s.

  59. says

    Wow! That is a bit close-minded and judgemental. I’ll tell you flat out (and a post about it is in the works) my 7yo got an iPad when she was 5, and my little baby has her own “iPad” now too, given to them by their loving grandmother who has worked her butt off since she moved over here from Vietnam at 16. She worked very hard to get to where she’s at now, and we’re not even that well off, just comfortable. She believes in giving her children and grandchildren the best in life because she couldn’t have all that, and instilled those values and beliefs in her kids, which I will make sure I do in mine. Sure my kids want for nothing, but I do know when to say NO and to constantly tell my older daughter how we have to work for what we want in life, despite the fact that Grandma buys her everything and anything she wants. I don’t mind that as long as she knows if she acts up, things can be taken away and such. Kids are meant to be loved and spoiled, but as long as you teach them right, I see nothing wrong in that. Personally, I’m not well-off like my mom, but I feel so blessed that my kids can benefit from all that she has to offer them and I strive everyday to provide everything they NEED, while their Grandma happily provides everything they WANT. There’s no shame in that and I’d gladly admit it to anyone.

    That’s me being judgmental to that lady and saying she has no idea what goes on in another family and shouldn’t put her two cents in where it’s not wanted or needed!

    I’d like to tell her that in addition to blessing my kids with as much as possible, my mother donates hundreds of dollars to various charities, sponsors local Buddhist temples, and so much more. She really shouldn’t judge unless she knows the whole picture, and really, it isn’t her any of her business anyways how people spend their money as long as they’re not gambling, drugging, or drinking their life away.

    You work hard, you play hard and what do you do it for?! So those that come after your can live a better life. Period.
    Vivian recently posted..Blogoversary Celebration: My Favorite Blog PostsMy Profile

    • Shell says

      Oh, how I agree with that last statement you made!

      Your kids are lucky to have those things- but it sounds like they are far from spoiled.

    • Shell says

      Oh yes- it’s pretty much impossible not to judge something. It’s what we decide to do with the judgement that matters.

  60. says

    See? This is why I kinda love FB…people get all fired up and grow huge sets of balls when they’re behind their computer. It would be amusing if it weren’t so ridiculous.

    It sounded like the “judger” had a few issues of her own to contend with.
    Rebecca @ Unexplained X2 recently posted..Wordless WednesdayMy Profile

  61. says

    I would love to think that a children learn the value of hard work and other things from their parents and not by the things they are given as gifts. Don’t we all as parents want to give our children the things we never had? Who knows, maybe I’m idealistic, but I would hope that my child getting a certain toy or toys for Christmas doesn’t mean he will be an egocentric spoiled brat. With that said, we always try to help the less fortunate during the holidays, and it’s important that my son know that there are kids who are nowhere near as lucky, even from such a young age.
    Barbara recently posted..36 weeksMy Profile

    • Shell says

      I really don’t think it’s the presents that spoil kids. At least, not on their own. It’s more the parents’ attitudes.

  62. says

    I can’t believe how quick that woman was to lash out at someone she doesn’t know. The husband and I have family like that-they give their kids everything and they ARE spoiled brats who don’t work…but that’s a different story. We don’t get as into the commercialism of Christmas and instead choose to focus on what the holiday really means. But, I understand your frustration. IF we could, we’d give our son everything he wanted, donate boat-loads of toys to the Salvation Army and Toys for Tots and send Christmas Shoeboxes to every kid we could find overseas. I think that the important thing is, is that we raise our children with the knowledge that no matter how “much” or how “little” they think they get for Christmas there are so many more kids out there who don’t have anything.
    Courtney @ The Mommy Matters recently posted..When Parent’s Fail their ChildrenMy Profile

    • Shell says

      It has a lot to do with how the family handles it all. I have a family member who gives her daughter everything she wants. At the exact moment she wants it. And even jokes “Well, she demanded I go get her those shoes right now or she’d be mad at me, so I got them!” Um, yeah, $100 shoes for a demanding 4 year old. Um, no. We’re heading into spoiled territory, to give into every whim a child has.

      I wish we could donate boatloads of toys- can you imagine the joy that would bring!

  63. says

    We are on a very tight budget this year for Christmas. That being said, while sometimes I do get a bit jealous when I see what other parents can afford for their kids, Im never judgemental. I wish I could give it all to my boys, but we cant. They will get enough toys and things that they wont feel like they are missing out on something. My parents couldn’t afford huge Christmas’ for us when we were younger, so they now spoil the crap out of my kids.

    I just think judging someone else on what THEY buy for their families isnt right. Keep it to yourself. Facebook is so out of control, thats why I prefer Twitter.
    Jessica recently posted..Hello, ChristmasMy Profile

    • Shell says

      I understand the jealousy- and often feel it. I just don’t see any reason to lash out at those who can afford things that I can’t.

      FB does get kinda nutty sometimes!

  64. says

    The judger was way out of line, especially with the “spoiled brat” comment, but…uh…I’d probably agree with “spoiled” after reading a gadget laundry list like that. I totally understand the desire for this idyllic “never judge anything, everything is relative” world, but at some point is it ok to say, “that just sounds over the top”? Just asking – is there maybe a downside to demonizing the whole concept of judging? Ok, now I have to go take my iPhone away from my 15 month old.
    Erica/Northwest Edible Life recently posted..Backyard Eggs vs. Store Bought Eggs: A Side-by-Side ComparisonMy Profile

    • Shell says

      It does sound like a lot. But, since she was talking about her nephew and not her son, I had to wonder if maybe she was just mentioning things that are in their house and not necessarily are just his.

      Like, we have a Wii that we bought for me and Hubs several years ago. And we have a Playstation 3- that came with one of our tvs. I have an iPhone and Hubs has an iPod. But, my brother might say to someone “Oh yeah, my nephews have a wii, playstation 3, iphone, and ipod.”

      So, not knowing what is really his and what is just in his house… plus, not knowing how many years it took for him to get all those things- that’s why I was thinking it wasn’t as over the top as the judger. If you told me that he got all that for one holiday… I might judge a little, too.

        • Shell says

          I think the big list coming from the aunt gives it a different perspective. Like, I totally forgot to add in computers to my list above- b/c they are mine, not my boys’… but a relative might have included them.

          Btw, I think judging is always going to happen- it’s just want we choose to do with our judgement that concerns me. Hard to help that gut reaction of judging sometimes. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  65. says

    Excellent excellent post Shell! I love your take on it and your friend handled that situation so well. My daughter asked for an Ipad this year and I laughed at her–I don’t think she even knows what one is! But I might also consider it if I had more cash!
    Grumpy Grateful Mom recently posted..Stop Making Me Mad!My Profile

    • Shell says

      My friend whose status this one is one of the most laid-back people you could ever meet.

      My youngest knows what an ipad is b/c he was playing with one while the Geek Squad fixed my laptop at Best Buy. And he wants one. Not happening.

  66. says

    I woldn’t buy all that stuff for my kid even if I could afford it but so what? Who am I to judge what others do? People are so nasty and judgemental. We’re so mean to each other and then call ourselves Christians. That conversation was a bit over the top.

    What an amazing world we’d have if people minded their own business more often.
    Michelle recently posted..Women Over FortyMy Profile

    • Shell says

      That would be amazing!

      I can’t see buying mine all that, either. Though I tend to think it wasn’t given all at once, you know?

  67. says

    Great post. So impressed that you can do all of that with the graphics, and copying the FB page. I wouldn’t even know where to begin.

    I don’t understand how people can be that bold. My son asked for scotch tape and a new leapster this year . That is all he asked Santa for this year, and he’s been consistent on that. I like that he did not have a long list. I hope he will not be disappointed, but we decided that he’s going to grow out of the Leapster so we decided to invest in the hand-held nintendo thing for him. We are not a lavish family aside from my hotel spending. :) I have a flip phone. :( I’m hoping that will change soon though. I need to remember to buy the scotch tape. :)
    Leigh Powell Hines (@Hinessightblog) recently posted..Wednesday’s Wish We Were Here: Disney’s Kidani Village {Guest Post}My Profile

    • Shell says

      I had to learn to do it, just for this post! LOL

      We’ve thought about that nintendo thing, too. Someone told me to check and see if GameStop has second-hand ones.

  68. says

    Wow. That’s a lot of anger towards a family and their 11 year old they don’t know. While it is more than my kids will ever have, who am I to judge another family’s Christmas choices?

    We fall in the middle and I am struggling with the wishes of my 5 year old for an American Girl – a doll I do not want to buy her. A $100 (choking) doll. That only comes with one outfit. I digress….these presents are tough!

    Like yours, my kids have a lot of toys and I struggle to think of something awesome that they will actually love and use. I also struggle with feeling like we are in technology overload and why do my 5 and 3 year olds want an ipad when they have a freaking swing set?

    Oh well, if the grandparents gave it it is not like I would turn it away!

    Good luck with your shopping. Thanks for sharing a thought provoking post.
    Brittany {Mommy Words} recently posted..Lift Your Voice, Show Love & Love YourselfMy Profile

    • Shell says

      I tend to think it’s more than my kids will have, too… though I guess if that’s a list of things given over the years, my boys might end up with a list like that some day!

      I’d have a hard time with a $100 doll, too. Or $100 anything.

      Still have to find time to get my shopping done… and am still clueless about what to get my boys.

  69. says

    Ugh I don’t like people like that. Those are a lot of mean things to say about an 11 year old child they don’t even know.
    I don’t have the money to spoil my girl like crazy (and she’ll only be 3 months so what does she care) but I get her enough to make me feel good about it. I’d love to spoil her if I could. And hey if I could afford to spoil her I’d love to put some of that extra money to good cause.
    Venassa recently posted..My baby-free timeMy Profile

  70. says

    I would have been just as judgmental. But kept the comments to myself. :) This is the first christmas we’ve had on a budget (I quit my job to stay home with the kids… 3 and 10 months) so shopping was easy. We spent $200 on xmas. But luckily, the kids are too young to understand the commercialism of xmas. I hope it stays that way for as long as possible.
    jeni recently posted..Booby trapsMy Profile

    • Shell says

      I do understand thinking that’s a lot- it is. But, none of us know if it came over years of holidays or if some really belongs to mom or dad.

      My boys have always been happy with whatever they have been given, thankfully.

  71. says

    I admit it’s hard for me to understand how people spend a ton of money on their kids for Christmas. But I know if we had the means, we’d probably go all out. And at the same time teach our daughter that not everyone is as fortunate. It’s hard b/c there’s always competition out there to outdo each other and sometimes I feel like we’re running in circles trying to get our kid the best of everything.
    Rach (DonutsMama) recently posted..The Winner of the Howard B. Wigglebottom Giveaway is…My Profile

    • Shell says

      We don’t got all out here. I doubt that that big list of things was actually given at one holiday.

  72. says

    I try hard not to be judgy and NEVER get involved in controversial facebook posts.
    (Click away. Yes!)

    Everyone’s situation is different; and the spectrum of indulgence can be relative.

    I will say that I agree with your final statement and I wish everyone were as generous as possible.
    This time of year and always.

    With their time, money and hearts.
    Amen. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  73. says

    I try hard not to be judgy and NEVER get involved in controversial facebook posts.
    (Click away. Yes!)

    Everyone’s situation is different; and the spectrum of indulgence can be relative.

    I will say that I agree with your final statement and I wish everyone were as generous as possible.
    This time of year and always.

  74. says

    Oh wow, that was hardcore judging right there. My goodness, your friend was merely asking for suggestions. Wow, that literally shocked me to see how that one person responded. Obviously she has some jealousy issues.

    I do wish that some people who can afford to give more would be more generous with those who are less fortunate. At the very least, it would be nice for them to be teaching their children that it’s better to give than to receive.

    • Shell says

      Talk about going off topic- I think that was really what hit me- not only was it judging, but the conversation was supposed to be about gift ideas.

  75. says

    It’s interesting what people will do to pacify their children. I personally, would not buy a young child an ipod, wii or anything of the sort. I think there’s an age that would be more appropriate than 4. As for your son, what to get, I have no idea but I know that whatever you and your hubs choose will be perfect because you guys know him better than anyone else! I think that’s more important than anything that you give him. Yeah, right now, Christmas is about presents but then, later, he will be so appreciative of what you did to make him happy. That, is the best gift of all!
    Sarah recently posted..PYHO: I’ve decided to change the focus of my blogMy Profile

    • Shell says

      I do think that’s a little young- my boys play with my husband’s ipod and we have a Wii that they use, though we actually bought that more with us in mind, rather than them! But anyway- I don’t think we would buy one just for them.

  76. says

    This is, I think, the last Christmas before the kids actually start expecting things. With the oldest at just over two, they both see presents & want to open them, but the concept of a day where people give you presents goes right over their head.

    But, both of mine are already developing a Lego obsession.

    My hope is to always, always, include books at Christmas . . . especially once the kids are reading — I want to find books that they’ll love and will want to read over & over again. Mistakes I made in school left me with a hatred of reading for awhile.

    I think the only options you have are to find the things that you know the kids will love . . . it’s certainly not about quality.

    About the FB squabble . . . the “riler of emotions” certainly didn’t comprehend the “buying for a 4 1/2 year old” part of all of that.

    I like the concept of announcing where you’ll take the family vacation on Christmas morning . . . something huge to look forward to, especially when the alternative is to “just have stuff”. Although, some stuff is always fun to open :-)
    John recently posted..Where I reveal my #mugswap partnerMy Profile

    • Shell says

      I’d like to not just announce where the vacation will be, but to go on vacation over the Christmas season- as the gift.

  77. says

    I flinched a LOT while reading that. Yikes and ow. Harsh is not the word. While my child won’t be getting her own TV, she kind of already has everything we do – in that she uses it all! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I am an in-betweener. Our plan is to get her a bike for Christmas, but we also celebrate Chanukah here, so that’s 8 nights and I like to give her something for each one. But last year I did all books. This year will be some electronics, like a few movies (I always use coupons for online shopping to SAVE big!) and some Wii games. One I got at TypeACon and I won a Smurfs one online at a twitter party without even trying. So for me, though the items might be bigger ticket, I spent nothing because I try to win! :) Or I’m lucky enough to! Anyway, Last year’s big Christmas gift was a Dora vanity I bought on crazy sale the year before. I am all about saving money. Seriously. But the judging is harsh. OK, I’m done rambling. I think you staying out of it was perfect, and I Think that the reminder to GIVE is most important. We do Toys for Tots and food drives, as well. And we donate our old clothes and toys she has grown out of to Goodwill, etc. too!
    Andrea recently posted..a writing promptMy Profile

    • Shell says

      Gotta love those wins. Last year, my middle son really wanted this electronic bigfoot thing. And I ended up winning one. I was SO excited!

  78. says

    Ugh Facebook.
    I signed my soul to the devil when I got an account.
    Me and my sister in law haven’t said a word to each other in 3 years because of a ridiculous comment I made about dentists.
    Anyways…it’s not just Christmas. People judge all the time and it’s worse when you’re sitting behind the safety net of a computer screen. It seems to me that people grow steel balls when it comes to commenting. I’d like to see that person say that stuff to that girls face.
    Kimberly recently posted..2011? HAMy Profile

  79. says

    Oh man…that’s disappointing. I don’t know why people feel the need or right to judge others. I wish I could spend an extravagant amount for Christmas with all the new gadgets for my kids…but I can’t. But I would if I could.
    Crystal recently posted..Let’s Talk About Sex Baby!My Profile

  80. says

    That is the exact reason why I have to sometimes stay away from FB for awhile. People forget that it’s easy to mean to another person when you aren’t face to face.

    I try to set limits to how much I/Santa spends at Christmas but i also know that I probably spend more on my one child than other people with more than one. But I also take Annabell eout shopping for toys for Toys 4 Tots and donate to our local food pantry whenever they have a food drive. She gets all that she would ever want or need but she also knows not everyone is as lucky as she is.
    Jaime recently posted..The Joy of Only OneMy Profile

  81. says

    These days kids have a lot of technology but so much of it is geared for their age as well as adults. So all those things work for that child and if someone wants to give them that…more power to them.
    I have to say, Will is extremely spoiled and it is our own fault. I think the reason we, or I have done it is because I was the youngest in my family and I got all the hand me downs. But, when it came to Christmas, my parents always went all out on us. The presents were all over the floor. It was total chaos but we loved it and my parents loved to see the smiles on our faces. I just finished wrapping Will’s gifts and the count is up to 14! Overboard yes, but the look on his face Christmas morning will be something I will cherish forever!
    Jenny recently posted..Almost 2 months . . .My Profile

    • Shell says

      Well, half of them are me replying. LOL

      I love that my kids believe in Santa and are so excited about it- could be the last year for my oldest. :(

      We did Toys for Tots this year, too.

      Btw, thank you for the gorgeous card- totally made me smile, my friend!

  82. says


    WOW – bravo to your super diplomatic friend! I don’t know what I would have done in that situation…I hate FB fights.

    But I agree with you – we all have different budgets, different ideas of what our children need, deserve for the holidays. And we shouldn’t judge.

  83. says

    Wow, that comment was irritating! But it also made me sad for all the bitterness/jealousy that {it sounds as though} is in the commenter’s heart. I can’t imagine Christmas – with lots of money or without – could be very merry for someone who feels {and would say} those things to/ward a stranger. Yikes :(
    I agree with your “jugement” :) Toys For Tots would overflow if I had the means.
    Jenny recently posted..NativityMy Profile

  84. says

    The downside of facebook is that it throws all of our beloved friends and families together, and opinions differ and sometimes debates happen. The more and more I grow my love of twitter the less and less I spend on facebook ๐Ÿ˜‰

    But it is a place to connect and share and be open about one’s life, sometimes more than others =)

    As far as the gift giving goes, you know your children, you know their wants and needs and their enjoyments. There are so many wonderful things out there. It is not the amount, but the thought that put into it =) Good luck this weekend in your search.

  85. says

    Holy cow, that person on Facebook was harsh!
    I totally agree that if you have the means to buy lots of toys for your kids, pick up a few extras for kids who otherwise might not get any this Christmas.
    We never go all-out with gifts for our boys. They both get about 4-5 presents each – things like lego, board games, maybe a DS game…nothing too crazy.
    Jen {at} take2mommy recently posted..The Girl Who Hated FoodMy Profile

  86. says

    FB drives me nuts for this very reason. Between the political posts and the judge judy comments at every turn…it’s just maddening. Everyone is different. Every family is different. This person just wanted a few gift suggestions…not a bunch of opinions about what constitutes “spoiling”. Sigh.
    Practical Parenting recently posted..Time Stood StillMy Profile

  87. says

    Thanks for that post. Because I was just starting think myself that I AM SO OVER FACEBOOK. There is way too much judging going on. I even have a “friend” who seems to only make comments lately if it is in the form of an arguments to my status update. Seriously? Is this all we have time for?
    Lisa recently posted..25 DegreesMy Profile

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