5 Christmas Gifts My Kids Aren’t Getting This Year


Editors note: a version of this article originally appeared in December 2015. This version is updated for 2017.

I truly believe Christmas is, as the song says, “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”. Truly! I loved it as a child, the anticipation of Christmas gifts, spending the night at my Grandma’s house on Christmas Eve, and all the time with cousins and the delicious FOOD! As I’ve gotten older, my love for Christmas has not waned a bit. I LOVE it, and I also love enjoying it with my kids. Their excitement and joy during the advent season is second to none. I also love all the extra teachable moments Christmas brings…many more opportunities to tell my kids what a miracle it is that God’s Son loved us enough to put on skin and soil his diapers like the rest of us. (Needless to say, Mary used cloth.)

And of course I love giving my kids good gifts. What mom doesn’t? It’s fun to see the wonder on their faces when they get something they really hoped for or never dreamed would be theirs. In our house we do the “4 gifts” rule: Something they want, something they need, something to wear, something to read. Each of the kids gets these, plus they pick out a present to give each other. And then of course they get gifts from grandparents and cousins, too. (We have a lot of cousins so the cousins in our family draw names.) Even with these gift “rules”, I still feel like my kids get a lot of stuff! And they’re always very happy on Christmas morning. But there are some things, some things my friends, that my kids will simply never see under the tree. And so, Rapson children, I am afraid I will have to burst your bubble, if you’ve got hope bubbling on any of these five things.

Jenny and kids 2

5 Things My Kids Aren’t Getting For Christmas

  1. Anything from Santa

keep calm no santa

Yeah, we don’t DO Santa. Neither my husband’s parents or my own ever tried it with us (we were both the youngest, and our older siblings had figured it out years before our time. By then I think our parents were just too tired to give it a go.), and as a result, neither of us have any magical Santa-related memories we are dying to pass down to our kids. Also, I’m not into giving my kids a magical childhood. Life isn’t magic, dudes. My kids have two parents who love them and love the Lord and I think that’s all the magic they need. I would love to say that the real reason we don’t do Santa is because he distracts from Jesus, because that would make me feel very spiritual and pious, but the real, REAL reason is…we just didn’t wanna. But, you know, I’m glad we didn’t because I believe Santa CAN distract from Jesus. I know this is a hot-button topic, so YOU DO YOU and I’LL DO ME and let’s just all be okay with that, deal? But, we don’t do Santa. So my kids aren’t getting any magical wishes fulfilled in that manner.
2. A surprise vacation


awkward disney

Ugh! Would you people quit giving your kids plane tickets under the Christmas tree and whisking them off to Disney for Christmas vacation? Seriously! That’s a level of gifting that the Rapsons are probably never gonna be able to unlock. (No really, I think it’s awesome if you do that. Better than buying a Barbie Dream House that’s the size of your actual house. Just don’t tell MY KIDS, it makes me look bad.) Plus, once again…lazy parents…my husband and I have no desire to take our kids on a plane, ever, unless that plane is headed to HOGWARTS at Universal Studios where I want to go so badly. (Call me Universal, CALL ME!) But alas we’ve been spending the surprise vacation money on Christian school tuition. Sorry kiddos. But I’m sure you will thank me one day and ALL OF THIS is so “first world problem” that I have no doubt you’re gonna be A-OK. PLUS, I got you a giant candy cane filled with M&M’s in your stocking! ALL IS NOT LOST!

3. A Smartphone

My oldest is 13 and he will be 14 about 8 weeks after Christmas. My daughter just turned 11. I know that by this age a lot of kids now have smart phones. But, my kids can stop holding out hope for that iPhone (or if dad has his way, Android. I MARRIED AN ANDROID! WHAT THE HECK!??) There are two main reasons for this 1) I can’t afford to replace a device that cost triple digits when they inevitably break or lose it after having it for a week, and 2) HAVE YOU SEEN WHAT THE KIDS ARE DOING WITH THE SMARTPHONES THESE DAYS?? From bullying to sexting to stranger danger, I’m just all NOPE NOPE NOPE. Even good kids from Christian homes can stumble when they get this technology too young. It’s too much responsibility! Too many things can go wrong. THEIR FRONTAL LOBES AREN’T FULLY FORMED! Because of sexting and “sextortion,” my husband and I have decided we don’t even want our kids to have phones with a camera when the time comes. However, my teenager IS getting a dumb phone this year, because we are at the point where we need him to have one. But it will come with RULES about Mom and Dad always having access to his texts,etc. So far we have not located one without a camera, and we are still looking. If we have to get one with a camera, we have agreed that we will do something to it so that he cannot send pictures. As for receiving, we will be very diligent about going through his phone like it’s our JOB, BECAUSE IT IS OUR JOB.

4. A Pet

No pets

My poor children know they can never have a pet because their dad is severely allergic to cats and dogs. We need Daddy healthy and not asthmatic, so ix-nay on the et-pay. But lean in close, my little loves, and I will tell you a secret…I AM SO HAPPY WE HAVE THIS EXCUSE! I used to have cats (how we found out husband is allergic, whoops, he bought me a cat for our first anniversary) and I LOVED those cats SO MUCH. They slept with me, I babied them, I LOVED THEM.



So when hubby’s asthma got impossible to manage, we gave our cats away and my heart became a hard lump of coal where pets are concerned. And I’ve NEVER liked dogs, which I know means 75% of America hates me, because DOGS ARE PEOPLE TOO, but…

my kids ain’t getting one. And finally…

5. Age-Inappropriate clothing

Now this one goes out to just my darling daughter. She’s 11 years old, and her brothers are seven and 13. But I don’t have so much trouble buying clothes for her brothers because when I walk past the boys or young men’s clothing sections at a department store I don’t think “Oh my gosh!! That is so inappropriate for a child!” But of course, I think that about the girls clothing section all the time. Now that she’s 11 and she is definitely more interested in fashion and looking cute than she was before. And let me tell you the girl has no trouble looking cute. She doesn’t need to look 13 or 14 when she’s 11 and so I would love it if this kind of thing would stop appearing in the girls clothing section at department stores. It’s not that I don’t approve of shoulder cut outs it’s just that I don’t approve them in the little girl section. In the junior section or the grown woman section? Not a problem.

christmas gifts

And, UM, I’m shopping for her fifth grade Christmas program not the prom so this just isn’t going to work. I’m not saying it super slutty I’m saying it doesn’t belong in the girl’s section. MOVE ON UP to Junior’s, black-and white prom dress in the size 7-14 holiday section.

On the less formal side of things, let me just say I am loving the selection of graphic tees for the most part in department stores. I’m seeing a lot of girls to use that read things like “smart and strong” or “kind is the new cool.” But I do like them a lot better when the fit is more “casual and comfortable” rather than “super fitted and tight.” I think sizing in tween clothing is definitely going the wrong direction.

So my daughter’s “something to wear” gift will be carefully selected by her mother who has both her age and her body consciousness in mind. These days it’s not super easy to find my girl something that is affordable and is appropriate for her age but I am in it to win it. A little help from the appropriate stores, however, would be much appreciated.

OK, so that’s what Christmas gifts my kids aren’t getting this yeaar! But I know that we will all have a very, very, Merry Christmas celebrating the BEST GIFT EVER.

What are YOUR kids not getting this year?

Read this next: Why my kids only get four Christmas gifts every year

christmas gifts

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Jenny Rapson
Jenny Rapson is a follower of Christ, a wife and mom of three from Ohio and a freelance writer and editor. You can find her at her blog, Mommin' It Up, or follow her on Twitter.