Parents

Mom fires back over criticism of Christmas tree photo showing pile of presents

A British mom criticized for a picture showing her family's Christmas tree nearly buried under a mountain of presents has fired back at those who have called her too materialistic and said her children are spoiled.

Emma Tapping, 35, a mother of three from Isle of Man, posted a picture on Instagram Dec. 3 showing about 300 presents piled high enough to nearly obscure the tree.

The photo was tagged on Facebook Dec. 7 and was shared more than 100,000 times with a message about "materialistic parents" showing off how many presents their children are getting.

Tapping had a strong response to those saying she missed the point of the holidays and made an ostentatious display while some can barely afford anything for Christmas.

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"I LOVE christmas (sic) I LOVE spoiling my kids in the festive season and I work damn hard to make sure it is every bit as amazing as it can be,'' she wrote on Facebook before issuing an expletive-laden kiss-off to those "judgmental" people.

Tapping has two daughters, ages 13 and 9, and a 19-month-old son. She said she spent about $2,300 on all the presents.

"The way I see it is you could buy your kids two presents or 200 presents, it's the way you bring them up,'' she told Britain's This Morning show on Wednesday. “You could buy your kids two presents and still have a little terror. My kids know the difference between right and wrong, and they appreciate everything they get and they don't get spoiled throughout the year."

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Other commenters came to her defense, saying she has every right to do what she wants with her money or spoil her children if she feels like it. She also noted that the presents are not just for her three children but also herself, her partner and her mother. TODAY reached out for additional comment, but didn't immediately hear back.

"Please try and remember this is about 3 little children, their christmas, their tree,'' she wrote in a Facebook post for her blog, Bossmum, which features tips on saving money.

Tapping also emphasized that she is not wealthy.

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“I'm not rich at all, which is the first thing I wanted to point out because it's been put all over the Internet after it had been taken from Instagram that I was rich and I spoil my children,'' she told This Morning. "I literally start from January, I shop all the way through, I use every bargain that I can and every sale that I can. That's the way I do it, I shop all year round to make the pile as big as it is and start wrapping in August."

Follow TODAY.com writer Scott Stump on Twitter.

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