Giving According to their Needs

December 24, 2008 by  
Filed under Money and Behavior

It’s Christmas Eve morning so my message will be brief.  According to family tradition, this night would end with Mrs. ToughMoneyLove and me sorting, surveying, and wrapping the multiple gifts we had purchased for our three children in recent weeks and months.  The mental calculators would also be in action so that we could be confident that each child received gifts having total monetary values that were substantially equal.

Yes, I know that sounds a little silly.  But how else were we to insure parental fairness among piles of toys and gadgets of different sizes, shapes, and function?  We wanted each child to have equal shares of Christmas giving.  After all, for at least the younger children, that has unfortunately become a key component of Christmas.

I think this year we will finally and completely end that little “tradition.”  Our sons are grown, two living and working on their own, the third in college.  They each have different levels of resources, needs, wants and desires.  More important, they have matured to a point where consumerism is no longer on their respective agendas.  Sure, they like “stuff” for what it is, but they have put getting and owning “stuff” in its proper place.  Now it’s time for us to do the same.

So I don’t know if the gifts they receive from us will end up being equal in value.  I don’t really care.  We have selected things that we believe will be important to them or will bring pleasure to them in equal amounts.  We are giving according to their needs.  That, I believe, may be more in the tradition of Christmas giving.

So now it’s time for me to think about our other family Christmas Eve traditions:  Our “secret” Christmas punch, cheese fondue, It’s a Wonderful Life, and Christmas Eve Mass.  I think those are worth keeping.

Maybe you didn’t realize it, but you the readers of Tough Money Love have been giving a gift to me just by reading what I write.  Thank you for that gift and ……. 

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Photo credit:  Wong Mei Teng

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3 Responses to “Giving According to their Needs”
  1. BankerBryan says:

    I love it! That is the same way my mother used to keep Christmas fair, tally up the prices.

    Honestly, how else would you do it in this day and age?

  2. BankerBryan: I suppose that’s the best system although when our kids were very young, we had to keep the number of gifts equal to avoid Christmas envy among siblings.

    Goldenrail: Thanks and Merry Christmas to you as well.

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