I'm having a hard time with this. I think holidays should be about PEOPLE (well, as should life) and I personally would be happy doing minimal gifts (Maybe mostly hand-made gifts), volunteering, and spending some time with family on Christmas. I told someone else the "hand-made gifts only" idea and they think it sounds terrible, like I'll be depriving my kids of such a wonderful childhood joy of getting lots and lots of toys that will:
1)clutter up our house when we already have too many toys
2)likely be ignored/broken/thrown out at some point down the line (even if we donate them eventually to someone else, cheap plastic toys don't last forever) which will just create even more of that garbage problem for generations to come
3)teach our kids that real joy comes from getting something new and unnecessary that someone else had to purchase... yeah, let that follow you into adulthood.
4)remind our kids that real "fun" is without thought of consequences... because kids shouldn't be burdened with knowing that that cool toy they have was put together by 10 year olds working 14 hour days and are probably tainted with lead. too much worry, just buy them what they want.
So I know I think too much and I've wanted things before, but looking at our whole world, a good number of people don't even have a roof over their head or sufficiant food so am I really THAT bad if I decide to at least minimalize this materialism and "ME!" way of thinking.
ALSO, I am just a bit overwhelmed at the number of toys coming in from grandparents for holidays and birthdays each year that if some of that money went into the kids' savings accounts instead, it would be SO much more helpful in the long run. But I've suggested before and it mostly gets ignored.
And for the record, I'm not perfect and we've bought cheap plastic stuff before, but it really bothers me for the reasons above and I don't want to teach my kids to ignore all that in the name of materialism.