Thursday, December 20, 2012

Holiday Parenting

Do you ever have themed Christmases? The movies do that well, with trees that are all matchy-matchy, and family photos where everyone is wearing matching shirts. Or maybe everyone gets a certain theme gift(s) for Christmas. Although I think I would get some grief from my family if I gave everyone a theme gift, like stopwatches and workout videos; or action figures and comic books. Our theme this year is : Stress, er, I mean Experiences. We want this holiday to be about more than presents. We don't want the kids sitting around dreaming of what they are *getting*; I don't want to stop and think about what I may be getting! But on the other hand, I want it to be fun, and I want the family to know we love them and are thinking of them.
Money feels like it is just flying out of my purse this month. I can see it, in my mind, being sucked out of the zippered pockets of my bag, *whoosh*. And so we came up with the idea to have an Experience Gift instead of having the kids unwrap another toy, another book, another shirt to add to the already huge pile in their rooms. Oh, we'll get them something to unwrap, but I am feeling the pressure of cultural tradition here. If we don't get them gifts and gifts and gifts to unwrap, hearing the litany of "things I got for Christmas" from their friends is going to make them feel ... what? unworthy? unloved? poor and miserable? We're told over and over to keep it simple, but then everyone turns around and lavishes the gifts on at Christmas. I'm not against gifts - not at all - I'm just tired of clutter and spending because it is expected. We're going to take time together as a family this year, doing things, making memories, experiencing some fun outings instead of dusting another Xbox game.

At this time, last year: Facts

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