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Live, Love, Blend: Santa is NOT fair! (kinda like life)

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Live, Love, Blend:
Santa is NOT fair! (kinda like life)

Every parent with more than one child has experienced the dilemma of how to keep gift-giving fair and equal at Christmas.  (assuming of course that you are among the 92% of Americans that do indeed celebrate Christmas)

As a young child I didn’t have any siblings, but somehow I was still wired with the knowledge that when the whole family gathers for Christmas, it is every child’s duty to count the presents under the tree to make sure they are getting as many, or more, than everyone else.  It’s what kids do.  Similar to the way they can’t pour 2 glasses of milk without making sure the amounts are exactly the same in each glass.  Heaven forbid they miss out on a sip.

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“CHECK OUT WHAT SANTA BROUGHT ME!”

ChristmasExcitement

This year I have come to the realization that equal gift-giving is impossible in a blended family.  Sure, you can give each child 3 gifts so they all have the same amount, or you can have a budget limit per child, whatever works for you.  But what you have absolutely no control over is how many gifts they get at their other house.  That shouldn’t matter, right?  Unfortunately, it does.  Kids talk.  They brag.  They compare gifts as if it’s some sort of statement of who is more loved.  So what do you do when you know that certain kids in your family are going to get the shaft?

Read more: What Matters Most: Christmas, Gifts and Giving…Is There Room For Santa?

WHO GETS THE SHAFT?

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Here’s an example from my own home.  We have 5 children.  I have 2 “originals” ages 10 and 14 that live with us full time.  Their father has pretty much vanished and will not be around for the holidays.  Our other 3 children will celebrate Christmas at least twice, once with us and again with their other set of parents (and possibly again with other grandparents and extended family).

As the mother of the 2 boys who get only one Christmas, it’s tempting to buy them extra gifts to make up the difference.  I have no idea what my step-kids will receive from their bio-moms, but if it’s anything like years past, it’ll probably be an assortment of tech gadgets & other goodies pricey enough to make my boys feel shafted.  On the other hand, if I go overboard, the step-kids may feel like I don’t care as much for them.  Ugh!  What would you do?

Read more: 10 From GEM: What NOT To Give As Christmas Gifts

FOCUS ON THE REASON FOR THE SEASON

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Now don’t get me wrong… I understand the reason for the season.  I know that my blendie-mom dilemma seems very focused on material STUFF.  Don’t miss the real concern here: making sure that each of our kids feels equally loved and appreciated.  I want to give gifts from the heart, gifts that show how much we care. But once all the presents are opened and the wrappings cleared away, how do you keep the kids from focusing in on the gifts they didn’t get… from the father who wasn’t there?

Read more: Good Enough Mother Presents….12 Days Of Christmas Giveaway!

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I might not have the answer to keeping a gift-giving balance, but for the father question there really is only one answer I can give.  We’ll focus on the Father who is always there, who always loves each of us the same, and who already gave us the only gift we need.  Merry Christmas!

andi parker

Andi Parker is a sweet but stubborn wife, and a motivated, multitasking mom of five. Kids include two “originals”, boys ages 13 & 9, and three “steps”, boys ages 18 & 14, and a 7-year-old girl. Andi works as a TV Producer for a Christian TV Network and freelances as a Traffic Reporter for an NBC affiliate. Her heart is set on sharing victories and life experiences in order to encourage and inspire other blended family working moms… or any gal who’s ever had to juggle a man, a job, kids, friends, chores, etc. Andi blogs at LiveLoveBlend.com.

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