But, I can say that it is probably my Mom's fault.
Every year my devoted and wonderful husband asks me what I want for birthdays and holidays. I usually tell him something like, "a weekend away." And he complies, because he is wonderful (as stated above). But he and my family sometimes get frustrated because I rarely want any material goods. (If he insists, I will tell my husband,
"Jewelry is always appropriate.")
This year - and only a few days before Christmas - I told him that I wanted socks. I love socks. Comfy socks. Soft socks. Fuzzy socks. Socks = warm feet = happiness. Lo and behold, Christmas morning arrives and that wonderful man of mine put socks in my stocking (very meta) and hung them all over the tree.
And I am delighted with my socks.
But why? Why does such a simple thing make me happy? It might be because the way my Mother raised me ensured that I wouldn't be very materialistic later on in life. You see, several studies have found that there are certain parenting tactics that have been shown to increase materialism in adulthood:
- Using gifts as a reward for getting good grades or accomplishments. (I was told that my job was to be a good student and that good grades were expected of me at all times.)
- Giving gifts as a way to show affection. (My Mom shows affection through food. Lots and lots of food.)
- Taking away gifts to punish children. (I was scared when my brother was punished, so I became a strict rule follower.)
Full disclosure: My husband also got me jewelry and I love that, too!
Are you a minimalist parent or a plentiful provider? Confess it all in the comments.