When it comes to Christmas presents or buying gifts for children during the festive season, most parents want to do their best. We all want to give our children the most expensive toys, clothes or gadgets that our pockets permit. But what do those parents do, when they can buy more than most parents are able to?
- A mother to three children posts pictures and videos of a pile of presents underneath her Christmas tree every year on Instagram.
- Like every year, she has earned a lot of flak on social media. However, she thinks that is her money and she can spend it as she wants to.
- The definition of wealth, expenditure and unnecessary expenses is different for every person.
- However, putting your splurging on display for virtual validation is where we must draw the line.
Amanda Tapping, 38, from the Isle of Man is a mother to three children. She posts pictures and videos of a pile of presents underneath her Christmas tree every year on Instagram. And every year her posts earns her huge criticism from numerous people on social media, and this year is no different.
Tapping has even admitted to spending £2000 on 350 gifts for her children, reports Indy100. She also countering all the criticism that is coming her way claiming that, “it’s her money.” She said, “If you ask me do I spoil my kids, I would say at Christmas yeah I do, but I don’t spoil them throughout the year. For all that’s been said about us and what we’ve been through, this morning made it all worth it. Just seeing their little faces, and everyone was happy – it was great.”
True, it is Tapping’s money and she can spend it anyway, which she likes to. The definition of wealth, expenditure and unnecessary expenses is different for every person. It is influenced by our upbringing, current economic condition and our general views on consumerism and parenting, and so on. For some people, spending two hundred rupees on a cup of coffee on a regular basis is wastage of money. While there are some who may feel that taking a 100km ride to eat at a Michelin star restaurant is worth their money.
How can one definition of indulgence fit all? How can one person tell another that they should rather spend their hard-earned money on charity, than splurge it on their kids during the holiday season?
Yes, we must all care for the underprivileged, but we can’t compel others to draw the line where we have, can we? My concern, however, is the display of wealth and presents on social media. Sure it is Tapping’s money and she has the right to do whatever she wants with it, but with nearly 17,000 followers on Instagram, she needs to post keeping other’s sentiments in mind. No one ever said that being popular on social media doesn’t come with any baggage.
Parents also need to ask themselves whether the pile of presents is to show their children, how much they love them, or to show their social media followers, how much they love their children, and how much can they spend on them? There is a difference and it puts everything in perspective, even our social media habits and our thirst of virtual validation. The display of wealth and love for your children on social media is as bad as flaunting your expensive meal or gadgets.
Posting pictures on social media has nothing to do with your meal, or your gadgets, or your children, or even the familial bonding around the holiday season. It is just about you seeking popularity and validation and projecting your life as fulfilling and eventful.
This is where we must all draw the line. Spend all you want on holidays, food and presents, but share the details of your splurging with a little sensitivity. If you are actually doing it for your children, then you should understand how it will sadden parents and children, who haven’t been able to afford a good Christmas perhaps in years. Parenting is all about leading by example, to ensure that we are nurturing a future generation which is sensitive, empathetic and caring, we will have to start by following some digital etiquettes. It will be a much valuable gift for our children, over all the presents we can buy for them with money. The last thing one wants is to spread sadness during the holiday season.
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Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are the author’s own.