I get so many questions about having as many kids as we do and how day-to-day life works. In a world where 90% of people have between 1-3 kids (don’t ask me for the stats on that, I just made it up), it’s hard for people to imagine doing everything they do x 8.
It’s not so bad. I’m not being sarcastic, it’s really not.
People think I’m up until 2am on Christmas Eve. Nope. I’m a girl who needs her beauty sleep, and since the whole house awakens at about 6am, I need to have my game face on. My kids are the kids who don’t have a lot of “stuff”. People walk into our house and inevitably say “eight children live…here?” Yes. We try REALLY hard to be good stewards of our finances and to show this to our children. If it’s not something really useful, something you’ll play with a lot, we just don’t need it. That said, each of my older kids has a Kindle (the cheapest version) that they acquired for their birthday or bought with their own money. They don’t have a lot of ‘chapter books’ cluttering their rooms because they’re on their Kindles. The younger kids are the ones with all the picture books on their shelves. All our toys have a place and when there is no place, we start to think about what we don’t need and where to donate it or how to recycle it.
Reading is super important so each kid gets a ‘read it’ present.
Dolly got ‘Pat the Bunny’, a childhood classic.
Aside from that we do a ‘want it’, a ‘wear it’ and a ‘need it’. Santa brings a little something too, but it is often something pre-owned. We always go to Pre-Played for our video games. The kids know this will stretch their dollars further. This year Santa decorated all the DSs with vinyl initials and decals and re-distributed them. The oldest kids got newer, but still used, DSis and the younger kids got their old DSs. No one complained. In fact, they thought it was the best thing ever. Other presents come from sales we find throughout the year. Aldi, of all places, had pink Razor scooters on HUGE deal over the summer. Bubbly and the Diva each got one.
All the ‘wear its’ came from Old Navy during their Stuff and Save Sale. I can get 40% off plus use my credit card rewards. I always save more then I’ve spent. The older boys wanted memberships to Club Penguin. I approved this because it’s an online game with zero violence. We also hung a heavy bag in our exercise room. I envision many years when the teenagers in our house will ‘need this’ desperately as the hormones take over and they need to work out some of that aggression. Heck, I ‘need it’ some days right now, so I got a pair of boxing gloves from FPD.
All in all, it’s a fun day around here, because on a day-to-day basis, our kids don’t get gifts. Unless they’re spending their own money, I don’t buy them anything but necessities. I’m teaching life skills here. Our motto is, you want it, you earn it. We don’t go overboard on Christmas, so overall, they’re very appreciative.
Here is a little girl who couldn’t bear any weight, at all, on her legs just six weeks ago. She amazes us. Over and over. And, we’re pretty sure that she is the best gift of all.
who is buried in bows and boxes.