I Steal My Kids’ Holiday Presents, And I’m Proud

Like many kids, mine have more than their fair share of toys, as evidenced by the disaster zone known as our playroom. When December rolls around, I make a list, check it twice, and wince. Because the truth is, I just don’t think my kids need a lot more stuff. They practically have more stuff to play with than they have days left in their childhood.

Between our generous family and the fact that my son’s birthday is in December, though, the kids inevitably get a tsunami of toys. And so, I started doing the only logical thing I could think of: I hide gifts the kids get…and then I never give ‘em to them.

When things arrive in the mail throughout the season, or when the kids get random holiday gifts from people in our lives, I stealthily put them in a corner of our basement. I have become quite good at this task, giving new meaning to the words Secret Santa.

And then? I give some of those presents away to charity. I regift ones for other kids’ birthdays. (G-A-S-P!!!). I dole them out on occasion, throughout the year, to my kids.

Of course, instead of being so secretive I could let the kids choose which of their gifts they’d like to give away or save for another time, but I am not quite brave or insane enough to attempt that. My kids learn about the spirit of giving in December from the items we buy for toy drives and, throughout the year, from the gently-used toys we give away. Meanwhile, my husband and I edit their holiday gift lists down to a few things we know they truly want. And then we build a sacrificial fire in our backyard and throw in all the Target and Toys “R” Us flyers! OK, we don’t do that.

My kids are inevitably happy with what they receive. They never know about the stash of unopened presents in a corner of the basement, and I think they’re less spoiled for it. Me, I will keep right on stealing their holiday presents.

You’re a mean one, Ms. Grinch.



Photo/Aaron Jacobs

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