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Mom reveals she’s banning Christmas gifts and opting for family memories instead

A raft of moms have taken to social media to reveal how they are not gifting their children any toys this Christmas, following in the footsteps of Drew Barrymore. 

The actress revealed in a recent interview that she would rather get her two daughters – Olive, 10, and Frankie, aged eight – ‘life memories’ instead of expensive presents. 

And it appears Barrymore is among a number of parents across America who say they’re scaling back on gifts for their children in favor of treasured memories in a bid to switch their kids’ focus away from consumerism.

One of these parents is Makenzy Smith, a 30-year-old photographer and mom-of-two from Seattle, who explains her decision in a TikTok video that’s been viewed more than 280,000 times.

‘I don’t want them to think Christmas is all about gifts so we don’t buy gifts for Christmas,’ Makenzy says.

‘I want my kids to look back on their Christmases and I want them to think about their families surrounding them, these wonderful magical meals together, going and looking at Christmas lights with me and my husband. 

She explains: 'I don't want [my kids] to think Christmas is all about gifts so we don't buy gifts for Christmas'

TikToker Makenzy Smith from Seattle says she is not doing gifts for Christmas. She explains: ‘I don’t want [my kids] to think Christmas is all about gifts so we don’t buy gifts for Christmas’

Instead of concentrating on gifts Makenzy says she spends Christmas watching lots of Santa Claus movies with her kids - aged two and four - and doing activities, such as going for hot chocolates or visiting Kris Kringle

Instead of concentrating on gifts Makenzy says she spends Christmas watching lots of Santa Claus movies with her kids – aged two and four – and doing activities, such as going for hot chocolates or visiting Kris Kringle

Drew Barrymore revealed in a recent interview that she would rather get her two daughters 'life memories' instead of expensive presents

Drew Barrymore revealed in a recent interview that she would rather get her two daughters ‘life memories’ instead of expensive presents

‘I don’t want to revolve things around gifts. I don’t like the pressure of getting everyone gifts. I like getting gifts when I see something that reminds me of them.’

Instead of concentrating on gifts Makenzy says she spends Christmas watching lots of Santa Claus movies with her kids – aged two and four – and doing activities, such as going for hot chocolates or visiting Kris Kringle. 

She told DailyMail.com that when she was a child, she expected gifts all the time until one incident completely changed her outlook. 

Recalling the chain of events she said: ‘Honestly my parents got me so much when I was younger that I expected gifts all the time and became the epitome of spoiled. 

I don’t want to raise spoiled kids that think every holiday is centered around them and a bunch of presents. That’s just not what I want to do 

‘They were split up and I think the gifts were a way of overcompensating a bit, they just wanted me to be happy. But I vividly remember being about nine when my mom took me to the Salvation Army soup kitchen on Christmas. 

‘She asked me to grab 10 of my toys to donate to kids that were there and I fought her on it. But once I got there and saw how little some kids had I asked to go home. Then I cleared out all but a handful of my favorite toys and gave out garbage bags full of toys to little kids that were so grateful. I never looked at Christmas the same.’ 

After posting her anti-toy Christmas video, which has garnered more than 280,000 views, Makenzy said she got a string of negative comments from TikTokers accusing her of being a bad mom and ‘harming’ her children. 

In response, she defended her stance in a follow-up video stating: ‘It’s kind of an America consumerism idea that every holiday has to be centered around buying gifts and having gifts and needing things all the time.

‘I don’t want to raise spoiled kids that think every holiday is centered around them and a bunch of presents. That’s just not what I want to do.’

Shelley Jansen from Missouri is another mom who is skipping toys this Christmas

Shelley Jansen from Missouri is another mom who is skipping toys this Christmas

In a TikTok video, Jansen explains how she is going to gift her son with an experience for every month in 2023 instead

In a TikTok video, Jansen explains how she is going to gift her son with an experience for every month in 2023 instead

Jansen's homemade month-by-month calendar includes flashcards that her son will be able to read to see what adventures are in store

Flashcards explain what each adventure will entail

Jansen’s homemade month-by-month calendar includes flashcards that her son will be able to read to see what adventures are in store

The blonde revealed that her children have a small bin of toys in their room and ‘they’re fine with that’ as they’re more interesting in playing outside. 

She concluded: ‘My kids have learned how to entertain themselves and find things that they’re interested in, and pursue hobbies and passions at a young age.’

While some people slammed Makenzy, other TikTokers praised her for spreading a positive message.

Laura Did It DIY wrote: ‘Good for you girl! Wished I would have started what you’re doing so long ago with my kids. You’re spot on!’

It’s kind of an America consumerism idea that every holiday has to be centered around buying gifts and having gifts and needing things all the time

And Ashley Baggs commented: ‘Perfect! Christmas is so depressing for so many because of lack of funds for presents. We need to concentrate on time with loved ones.’

Shelley Jansen, from Missouri, is another mom who is skipping toys this festive season. 

In a TikTok video, the blogger explains how she is going to gift her son with an experience for every month in 2023 instead. 

Her homemade month-by-month calendar includes flashcards that her son will be able to read to see what adventures are in store. 

Demonstrating how it works, she shows the flashcards she has made for her son, which read: ‘We are going to the National Museum of Transportation!’, ‘We will see real choo choo trains’, ‘We will also see neat cars’, ‘You can pick something out at the gift shop, ‘And after we will go get some yummy food.’

TikToker and blogger Stacia Daniels is another advocate of experiences over toys. 

TikToker and blogger Stacia Daniels is another advocate of experiences over toys

In a post, some of the mom-of-one's meaningful gift suggestions include museum memberships, swimming lessons, aquarium memberships, swim lessons or ballet classes

TikToker and blogger Stacia Daniels is another advocate of experiences over toys. In a post, some of the mom-of-one’s meaningful gift suggestions include museum memberships, swimming lessons, aquarium memberships, swim lessons or ballet classes

For those with less money to spend, UK-based TikToker, blogger and mom-of-three Hannah Canavan suggests some inexpensive and free ideas

Some of Canavan's ideas include making paper artworks and decorating childrens' bedrooms, 'time tokens' which are tokens children can swap for one on one time with their parents, and charity vouchers

For those with less money to spend, UK-based TikToker, blogger and mom-of-three Hannah Canavan suggests some inexpensive and free ideas

In a post, some of the mom-of-one’s meaningful gift suggestions ‘for all ages’ include museum memberships, swimming lessons, aquarium memberships, swim lessons or ballet classes.  

For those with less money to spend, UK-based TikToker, blogger and mom-of-three Hannah Canavan suggests some inexpensive and free ideas. 

She says these idea will mean much more to kids than toys and they’re ‘great ways to spend time together too which is one of the most important things about Christmas!’ 

You could write them a letter about all of the things you’ve done this year, how proud you are of them their achievements… That could be a really special thing for a child to read

Some of her ideas include making paper artworks and decorating children’s bedrooms, ‘time tokens’ which are tokens children can swap for one-on-one time with their parents, and charity vouchers.

The Brit continues: ‘Another thing you could do is to write them a letter about all of the things you’ve done this year, how proud you are of them their achievements, and obstacles they were able to overcome this year. That could be a really special thing for a child to read.’

While the moms appear determined with their opinions, a 2020 study led by a researcher from the University of Illinois at Chicago found that objects gave children more joy than experiences. The conclusion was reached following four separate studies with children aged between three to 17. 

However, the authors note that the ‘effect changes over time.’ 

They continue: ‘As children age, the happiness they derive from experiences increases, to the point that older adolescents derive more happiness from experiences than from material goods, consistent with adult findings.’

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk



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