I am know that they do not need all of this stuff, but holidays/birthdays are a big deal to both Chris and me. I know there is much more to holidays than getting presents. We put huge importance on family... much more so than gifts. This is evident by the fact that we go to at least four (sometimes five) different family get togethers within a three day span around Christmas. And, once they are old enough, I plan to put importance on giving to others (by donating their time and toys). Grace will actually be donating some of her toys this year.
But still, we feel that presents are a huge part of their birthdays, and Christmas especially. Chris and I both grew up having generous Christmases, and that is something we both want to give to our children. However, we do have a spending limit, and they will know this as they get older. This is what my mom did, and I always understood that if I wanted something big/expensive for Christmas, I would not get many presents.
I would also like to address the fact that we are not the type of parents that buy things for the kids every time we go in a store. We do not just give in and give our children whatever they want. If they get a toy when it is not a special occasion, it is either from a consignment sale, or it's a hand-me-down.
Also, they don't get real presents for any holiday except Christmas and their birthdays. We give them each a little something for Valentine's Day and Easter, but nothing expensive.
Furthermore, we do not just go out and spend all the money at once. I start looking for deals early in the year. We started buying in July this year as to spread out the cost of everything. I also sell their old stuff (either through consignment or sites like Craigslist) and use the money from those sells to buy them new things for Christmas/birthdays.
As for the issue of a family vehicle. I bought the car I have now when Grace was six months old. I paid for it with my own money that I saved up so that we would have a family car. For being 18 at the time, it was a pretty good purchase. It has had some issues, but we've always been able to get them fixed, and it has always gotten us from point A to point B. Only this summer did the air conditioner quit working, and that is when we knew that we would need something better for our family, so we ultimately came to the conclusion that I would take out a school loan in order to get a new car. No matter what we spend on our childrens' birthdays and Christmas, we are still going to have the money from the loan. We have not touched one cent of it. Every bit of it is going to go toward getting a better family car. We will get a new (to us) car no matter what we spend on them because we have a set amount set aside for a vehicle.
My children have always had everything they needed, whether it be clothing, shelter, food, etc. If, for some reason, we were not going to be able to get a car at all because of what we spent on them for special occassions, then I could see your issue. However, my last post was not about if we were going to get a car. It was simply about if we were going to get the Trailblazer that we have been waiting on. If we don't get the Trailblazer, we will get something else.
As for the part about me spending so much on them because I'm trying to compensate for being a teen mom... Well, that is just plain not true. I have never and never will hold myself to different standards or feel that there is anything to make up for because of my age. There are certainly things that I want them to learn from my experience, but from the moment Grace was born, I went into "mom mode." I have never acted as anything but a mother to her (and Brentley). I have nothing to make up for because I have never let my age take presidence over being a mother to my children.
Not to mention, I am not the only one spending on the children... Chris and I buy their presents together. Chris is 23 (he will be 24 in Nov.). He was almost 21 when Grace was born, so he never was a teen parent.
I do not intend this to be rude. This is purely to explain myself against the concerns that were raised. In conclusion, I realize that our spending can be a little much for Christmas and birthdays, but it in no way takes away from anything the kids need. It may seem that they are being spoiled, but I can assure anyone that they are not consistently spoiled, and I feel that a little spoiling at special times of the year is fine.