It was just a photo of a Christmas tree - piled rather high with presents - and shared on Instagram. But it sparked an barrage of comments and insults.
Mum-of-3 Emma Tapping revealed that she'd spent £1,500 on 300 Christmas presents for her children and husband. Emma's pic was then screengrabbed and reposted with a new caption: "Nearly time for all the materialistic parents to compete and broadcast how many presents their kids have on Facebook! Just remember there's some children who don't get much."
Then the negative comments started pouring in, many accusing Emma of over-spending and spoiling her kids, So Emma decided to appear on TV show This Morning to defend her present buying.
"No, 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," Emma told Holly Willoughby via live Skype link from her home on the Isle of Man.
She explained how she'd hit the January sales at the beginning of 2015 and carried on bargain hunting throughout the year for the presents.
"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.
"Everyone is entitled to their opinion. I am from a huge family and this is how we celebrate. It's my money. I'm not on benefits so it's how I choose to spend it.
"I don't want people to judge me. I shop all year around to put a smile on their faces."
Lots of families post pics of their Christmas tree with pressies on Facebook and Instagram, but boy did Emma's tree rile some people. OK, it's a 7ft tree and there are only the top few branches peeking through the towering present pile. But it sparked some into accusing her of 'abusing' her two daughters (13 and 9) and her 16-month-old son by overspending.
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"The way I see it is you could buy your kids two presents or 200 presents, it's the way you bring them up," Emma hit back at her critics.
"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 spoilt throughout the year."
So riled was Emma, she posted another pic of her tree on her Facebook page, saying, "Will i post another pic of my tree? You bet your grandmas nipples I will. I LOVE Christmas. 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."
Is there are right number of presents to buy? And how much should you spend? Do you think it matters? Let us know in the comments below.
Photos: Facebook / Emma Tapping and ITV
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