As we unpacked the van after all of our Easter celebrations last night I felt a little overwhelmed by all that the kids had received.

Spoiled is an attitude and mindset, not a number of gifts or possessions.

Spoiled is an attitude and mindset, not a number of gifts or possessions.

So naturally,  I began to compose a note in my head to send to all of our well-meaning friends and family:

Hi there,

Thank you so much for all of the wonderful gifts and treats you gave the kids for Easter! They were thrilled to receive them and have had so much fun playing with their new toys. But out of fear of our children turning into materialistic spoiled rotten brats, we kindly ask that you refrain from giving them gifts on traditionally non-gift-giving holidays (like Easter, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Veteran’s Day, Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, Labor Day and Thanksgiving). On gift-giving holidays (Christmas and their birthdays) would you kindly only present them with one single gift (preferably an activity based gift or best yet, an “experience”).

Thank you so much for understanding and for loving our kids so well, they are very fortunate to have you in their lives!


I ran the idea by my twin sister (one of the culprits). She was like: get a life.

But truly, she really didn’t appreciate it.

You see, one of her love languages is gifts, so she LOVES giving gifts. She enjoys shopping, and contemplating, and wrapping and every step involved with a thoughtful gift. She also loves receiving them and appreciates when thought is put into gifts given to her. So to ask her to stop giving gifts feels unfair, it is one of the ways she expresses love.

And Nana (my mom) would likely stage a revolt, she has told me in the past that it is her “right” to buy her grandkids things ;)

But guys, surely you understand my desire to raise kids who are not greedy, spoiled and expectant of gifts all of the time???

So as I reflected on it more, I realized that being spoiled isn’t about a certain number of toys, it is about an attitude. And if our relatives can un-do everything that my husband and I have taught and instilled in our kids in one single holiday, then they aren’t the problem, WE ARE.

Spoiled is an attitude and mindset, not a number of gifts or possessions.

Oh sure, things could probably be scaled back a little bit and I do appreciate that everyone knew we we have been eating healthier and cut way back on the candy (look at all the bubbles and new toothbrushes from Nana– My grandma even labeled the bubbles with names so the kids wouldn’t fight over them, VERY considerate!). But at the end of the day, Tom and I need to be thoughtful about the values our kids are learning because they are growing up in a time when they will have to manage way more material possessions then we ever did.

So while they are young, we’ll help them.

We’ll ration the candy and the bubbles and help them to enjoy the new things that they got. We’ll help them to express thanks and to realize that they are so fortunate to be so well loved by so many, and giving gifts is just one way of expressing that. And we’ll help them to become thoughtful gift-givers because it is an important part of our culture.

And I’ll appreciate that I have never once had to buy our kids bubbles or side-walk chalk ;)

Spoiled is an attitude and mindset, not a number of gifts or possessions.

And how can you not want to give every toy in the store to these cute little faces??? :)

Spoiled is an attitude and mindset, not a number of gifts or possessions.

Have you found a tactful way of asking friends and family to give your children less? I always love to hear new ideas!


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One comment


I am so glad I found this! This, this has been my big conundrum. And you know what? You’re exactly right! Thanks so much!!!

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