I have never put up my own Christmas tree since I moved away for college. We grew up with a real Christmas tree every single year. I love seeing decorations and prettily wrapped gifts and I seriously considered doing it all this year - well, last year. But E is totally against all the materialism that comes with Christmas. He doesn't want our children growing up *expecting* stuff just because it is Christmas.
And I have to agree with him. Growing up, we had very little money and my mom scraped up her pennies to make sure we get what we really, really wanted. And although we appreciated the miracles she worked - it was not a secret that we had little to nothing - there was a sense of *expectation* every Christmas.
When (on very rare occasions) I didn't get something that I wanted - I was disappointed I tried to hide it. But my mom, being a mom could sense the disappointment and it hurt her deeply. I realize that what she did was totally out of love. I HATE that I had that expectation every year.
But it is human nature to expect what you usually get.
So, we are not going to give our kids that expectation.