Your Baby Really Will Survive Without One
I mean, of course my niece was a mere 4 months old at the time, but still — nothing? Not even a cute and fuzzy blanket? A "My First Christmas" outfit? An ornament to commemorate the occasion?
When I voiced my incredulity, my sister-in-law looked at me like I was completely off my rocker. "She'll have plenty of Christmases with presents," she laughed. "It will be fine."
Of course, now I realize that she was completely right — it probably is much smarter not to get a baby a Christmas present.
But I'm not sure it's advice I'll ever be able to follow.
You see, I have a slight problem with the love language of gift giving. It's a curse passed down on me from my mother. No longer does gift giving stand alone in the simple passing of a present from giver to recipient, oh, no. In our family, gift giving is much more than that. Suddenly, the entire weight of our love for one another is hinged on that humble present. Did I show my love too much? Not enough? Do you hate it? Do you hate me?
So when it came time for our baby's first Christmas, I asked my husband to keep me strong. I would be tempted, I told him, to go completely overboard, so great was my desire to lavish her with gifts a plenty. I needed him, I relayed with great solemnness, to keep me in the realm of sane motherhood gift giving. He rolled his eyes and scoffed at me, shaking his head at my inane female ways.
Until we got to the store and, the next thing I knew, I lost him somewhere in between the Playskool and Tinker Toys aisles, as he sprinted back and forth gleefully holding up plastic-wrapped package after package with excitement. "Ooo, how about this?" he exclaimed. Then, in the next second after getting distracted by something shiny, "Oh no, this is perfect!" In the end, I was the one who had to talk my husband down from his "First Christmas" high and convince him that, no, a bright pink, electric-powered, full-size Barbie Power Wheels was probably not the best choice for a 6-month-old. After we were able to fill our cart with three very respectable and reasonable presents (the wise men brought three gifts, right?), we deemed our first official Christmas shopping done.
So my point after all of this?
It is perfectly acceptable to be a parent who does not buy your baby a Christmas present. It's completely the logical, sane, financially prudent move to make.
Which means come December this year, when we will once again celebrate Christmas with a baby in tow, she will most definitely be getting a present.