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Mom defends her ‘disgusting’ Christmas tree photo

If you’re a parent who hasn’t done your Christmas shopping yet, you may want to sit down for this. One mother has not only finished her shopping for the year, but she posted a controversial picture of her Christmas “haul” to Instagram with a present pile that’s hard to beat.

Parents of the Internet don’t like Emma Tapping’s now-viral picture one bit. Tapping is a 35-year-old UK mother of three who also runs a money-saving blog. Here’s her family’s Christmas tree being swallowed up by presents: 

Each of the Tapping kids will get 100 presents — which comes out to 300 presents total for her 13-year-old and 9-year-old daughters and 19-month-old son. While Tapping said in her interview on the UK daytime talk show This Morning that her kids aren’t spoiled because she brings them up well, the Internet says otherwise.

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After Tapping’s Instagram photo was reposted to Facebook, it received more than 100,000 shares, with commenters calling Tapping a “disgusting” mother and her kids “spoiled brats.”

Those comments are cruel and over the line.

Unfortunately for Tapping, she stepped into an online hornet’s nest by posting what she assumed to be a proud moment for her family. And while many parents may not agree with purchasing so many presents for their kids, the truth is that Tapping, who appears to be a very loving and active mother, has every right to “spoil” her kids on one day of the year if she wants to.

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The reason the Internet is up in arms is because we’ve seen one too many Christmas and Easter “hauls” posted to Facebook, Instagram and YouTube each year. Again, there is every likelihood that the parents behind the hauls are loving and just want the best for their kids. But many times, Christmas present buying can get out of control because of a pressure to live up to the expectations of other parents.

In translation, buying hundreds of presents really isn’t one mother’s fault. Parents have been pushing the limits on social media for years, adding more and more presents to the stockpile under the tree, until we’ve all started to think that overdoing it on Christmas is the norm. Tapping may have been the first to post what is sure to be one of the biggest Christmas hauls of the year, but she’s just one of many parents playing into the super-size holiday trend (the same trend causing up to one in three people to go into debt).

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If you’re a parent who believes “more is more” on this fine holiday, then get down with your bad self and pile the presents under the tree. But if you’re feeling the pressure to keep up with the Joneses this year (not to mention the financial crunch), there’s a helpful workaround you can use to keep your kids’ gifts contained.

In a fun and socially conscious holiday trend that has been sweeping Pinterest, you can use your child’s Santa bag to bring in the new presents and exchange old toys in return. Here’s how it works: Leading up to Christmas, ask your child to fill their Santa bag with toys and books that they no longer need for Santa to pick up on Christmas Eve and give to other kids around the world.

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Now’s the perfect time to explain that not all kids are as fortunate as yours — there’s a reason that organizations like Operation Christmas Child give out up to 11 million shoebox gifts to kids at Christmas each year. Once this toy swap has taken place, you’ll have an empty Santa bag ready to bring new gifts to your child from Santa on Christmas Day. This handy approach to holiday giving makes it easy to keep kids’ toy inventory in balance and insert a little social awareness at the same time.

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