Wednesday, December 31, 2014

I love my Christmas socks

An apology to my family: I know I am a pain to buy gifts for. Sorry about that.

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:
  1. 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.)
  2. Giving gifts as a way to show affection. (My Mom shows affection through food. Lots and lots of food.)
  3. Taking away gifts to punish children. (I was scared when my brother was punished, so I became a strict rule follower.)
These concepts are really interesting to me as I already think that my son gets too many gifts at holidays. But then again, he only had two items on his wish list for Santa this year. I wonder if applying the tips above could help keep it that way.

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.

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