It’s pretty common these days for parents to share photos of their Christmas tree all decked out with holiday gifts, but you’ve probably never seen one like this:
That almost comically large pile of gifts belongs to 35-year-old blogger and self-described thrifty shopper, Emma Tapping, who had no idea sharing a photo of her tree on Instagram would cause such an uproar. Tapping posted the photo last week and then was shocked when it was co-opted and turned into a viral meme.
Since the meme was posted, it’s been shared over 99,000 times and has almost 70,000 likes. The comments, numbering into the thousands, have turned insanely vicious. People are calling Tapping’s three kids spoiled brats, questioning her parenting skills, accusing her of being a “greedy pig,” and even going to her personal Facebook page and combing for other posts and photos they can use to tear her down. Look at some of this nonsense people have written in the comments:
“This better be for a damn children toy drive no kid on this planet needs that many gifts ever.”
“LOL. Those are some spoiled bastard children!”
“Emma Tapping your [sic] raising entitled spoiled brats just what the world needs more of!”
“Let’s not forget the true meaning of CHRISTmas. We should be talking to our children more about the meaningful things in life, rather than making them spoiled brats!”
“If you need to have this many presents, you’re trying to buy love or corrupt your kids in thinking this is christmas, and how it should be…wow…what a pathetic fu#k this person is!!”
“Let them make there [sic] kids spoiled and when they get older and think they are better than everyone I will laugh from my grave when the spoiled little kids are getting their ass beat or picking on someone so bad that the school get shit up.”
According to Buzzfeed, people also started circulating bizarre rumors about Tapping, like saying she had her first kid when she was 14 years old and other completely random and made-up claims. They even started harassing her online and circulating her personal photos so they could mock her appearance. Things got ugly, so much so that she took to her blog’s Facebook page to clear up some of the rampant misinformation.
Tapping says her massive gift pile is for herself, her partner, their three kids, and her mom. Also, she claims she used a lot of the money-saving tips she blogs about to acquire all that swag. Regardless, it’s pretty screwed up that she had to justify herself to thousands of internet strangers at all.
Tapping’s tree is pretty wild, I’ll say that. It’s certainly not what happens in my house, or in a lot of people’s houses, I suspect. Still, that in no way justifies making her and her three children a target for online bullying and harassment. As Tapping reminds us in her Facebook post, there are kids involved in this. People are potentially attacking little kids who may or may not be able to go online and see it. We also don’t know anything about this woman’s finances, her charitable donations, how she parents, or how “greedy” or not greedy she may be. All of this vitriol is based entirely on assumptions.
Tapping’s gift pile might be extreme, but she’s not hurting anyone, and she’s not out there attacking strangers. If anyone should be ashamed here, it’s the thousands of people on the internet trying to make some kind of example out of this mom by raking her over the coals. If you have a problem with the way someone else chooses to celebrate the holidays, there’s an easy solution for that: just mind your own business.