SEX, politics and religion. Oh, and how much you’re planning to spend on the kids’ Christmas presents this year. All topics best avoided in polite conversation — especially at the school gate.
“Do you have a per child budget when it comes to Christmas and if so what is your maximum you spend on each child?” Sam Jockel, the page’s founder and administrator, naively asked.
Boy, did she open a can of worms there.
Amid the rational responses came a torrent of judgment, name calling, one-upmanship and overuse of exclamation marks, as hundreds of mums battled for the moral high ground on the vexed issue.
While the amounts of cash varied from zero into the thousands of dollars, the deep undercurrent of defensiveness running through the debate was shared by many.
Warning: big, flashy toys may “overwhelm” your child. Source: News Limited
One mum sparked an all-out war when she questioned the more extravagant parents.
“Wow I just read some of the amounts,” wrote Lynn Maree.
“Sorry but I am blown away. My two get around $100 spent on each of them and then we buy a $50 for a boy and girl their ages to donate to the Christmas tree for disadvantaged kids. And Christmas Day we go to the mission to help serve homeless dinners. I must be a scrooge compared to some of you guys.”
This didn’t go down too well with fellow school mum Kellie Visser.
“My god! So because I spend more on my children I am parenting wrong? They will grow up lesser people than those who got less spent on them?” she retorted.
“My children are respectful and appreciate all that is given to them! Stop making excuses and fluffing each other up for spending less on your children!”
Mummy wars aside, The Salvos really do need our help this Christmas. Source: News Corp Australia
One mum shared that her family had “stopped Christmas altogether” a few years
“We simply make it a family day have a nice lunch and do not buy the kids any gifts,” she wrote.
“They will grow up much more humble than the kids getting thousands spent on them!”
Another mum warned that “small kids get overwhelmed by too many toys, especially the noisy ones” and should be given more tactile items like wooden blocks.
“People have the nerve to say the ones that spend more are ‘snot faces’,” wrote Lea Kahan.
“I’m starting to feel it’s the other way around. How rude to assume people spend more money just to make up time they can’t give to their children! Don’t justify how much you spend by calling others stupid and laughing at them!”
Peace and goodwill. to all mums. Source: Supplied
Ms Jockel was forced to intervene, writing that she had not intended to spark a debate about the quality of each other’s parenting.
“I asked this question solely out of interest as I have no idea what people do these days,” she wrote.
“How much you spend on your child has no connection to how good a parent you are or as some kind of proof that you love your kids more.”
She told news.com.au while it was easy at Christmas to get carried away with buying things, the best festive season experiences had nothing to do with gifts.
“We often look around at what others can afford to buy their kids and for some reason judge ourselves based on that,” Ms Jockel said.
“The best memories I have as a kid at Christmas time did not involve things as much as driving around looking at Christmas lights, going to our local carols by candlelight, swimming in the pool all Christmas Day with family, visiting my Aunty Pam’s farm and laughing and eating some yummy food.
“So I would encourage everyone to care less about things this Christmas and cherish more time with our families and friends.”
Category: Personal Finance