Each time I go into a store I am reminded about how overmerchandised Christmas has become. Every commercial on TV, radio and even online! is all about getting the best deal for your holiday shopping. You can’t get away from it and I long for the days when Christmases were simple and meaningful and it wasn’t all about the stuff.
I had the inevitable conversation with my MIL about what everyone wants for Christmas and I cringed as usual. I love that they want to make the day special for everyone but every year I leave feeling like it was just TOO MUCH! This year I tried to pick things that were either going to be useful or that we actually needed. and I tried as much as possible to keep it short. but not too short that I would just be stuck with trying to come up with more ideas.
We are lucky. We have a roof over our heads, heat in our house and that we can afford to buy presents for our families as well as put food on the table. I would not be out of line thinking that we have more than we need and I have no idea where I am going to put anything he gets this year.
but its the little things that stick with me and that is what I want to accomplish raising my kid.
I loved my childhood Christmases. They are some of my most cherished memories and it wasn’t from the amount of presents we had under the tree. and it wasn’t about quantity but my parents always tried to get us that one thing we especially wanted like the year I got my first cabbage patch kid. They were sold out everywhere until just before the big day and even then they were selling so fast the manufacturers just sent them out in clear bags instead of packaging them in boxes. I can’t even remember what else I might have gotten that year.
I remember the year we spent Christmas down on the east coast with my mom’s parents. My cabbage patch and I received matching nightgowns (she still has hers and I still have her!). But it was about family and food and memories, not the presents.
I want it to be about drinking eggnog and watching Rudolph; about getting one of those little chocolates out of the advent calendars every day in December; about making cookies and squares and drinking hot chocolate after playing outside in the snow; about playing carols and watching the snow fall; about decorating the house inside and out and trimming the tree together. Its about building up that wonderland so that the presents under the tree are the icing on the cake not just the point of it all.
Last Christmas: He toddles down the hall, rubbing his eyes and calling me. He rounds the corner and sees the tree and his eyes are HUGE! A big smile spreads across his face and he just lights up brighter than the tree. (I’ve been up since like 6am waiting for this btw) He goes and checks out the presents and points at them, questioning with his eyes “are these all for me?” He opens one and wants to play with it….the other presents immediately forgotten. The other presents that we have to “force and coerce” him to open that he doesn’t care in the least about! (and this process is repeated twice over during the day at the grandparents houses).
So this year I am not going overboard. This year I am keeping it small and meaningful and I’m going to bring back the kind of Christmas I was raised with. The kind that will stick with him when he gets older and he will remember for years to come. And I get that as a kid Christmas is totally about presents but it doesn’t have to be.
This year its going to be different. This year we start a new tradition in our house.