- knee-deep in boxes, bags and wrapping paper
- blessed with the love of family and friends.
Merry Christmas. And to all a good night!
If I had found time, this would have been in your mailbox.
But I didn’t. Enjoy this blog post variation on card-mailing theme.
And, of course, Merry Christmas.
Every year, after the boys joint November birthday extravaganza, I look at the piles of toys and think, “Well, they don’t really need much for Christmas, now do they?” I make a promise to make sure that Christmas is small, reasonable. Christmas morning rolls around, just one month later, and I look at the piles of toys and think, “Whoops.”
This year, I scaled back. As I was sorting through presents to wrap the other night, I had a small panic attack. It just didn’t look like enough.
They won’t be disappointed on Christmas morning; Santa is still bringing them what they asked for, though it helps that they only ask Santa for one thing. Of course, the Santa that came on a fire truck to my Mother-in-Law’s house tried to derail that tradition. Santa started suggesting things they might like, and while my children had no need or want for the things he listed off, when Santa suggested them, their eyes lit up. Sorry, Santa, we need no more soldiers for me to step on with bare feet on the way to the laundry room.
There will still be a pile of presents each, but it’s less than it was last year.
I struggled with it, but kept coming back to how FireDad and I working so hard on teaching them that Christmas is not about presents. It seems like it to children, I am sure. And sometimes it even feels like it as a parent, a grown-up who should know better. I get caught up in words like “enough” and “equal” and concepts of “more” and “bigger” even as I repeat to my children, every day, “It would still be Christmas even if nothing was under the tree.” If I expect them to believe it, why am I still fretting about “enough” under the tree?
I look at what we have planned for the next few days — baking together and eating the things we bake together and Christmas music and church and our first turkey dinner and family and on and on and on. Those things — those non-things — mean more to me than any present I could possibly receive on Christmas morning. I logically understand that things wrapped in paper and bows do mean something to children who are only six and four. They also mean something to me; presents are lovely. But someday, as they figure out what Christmas means to them as adults, I hope that maybe… just maybe… these little things, the experiences of family, will mean more to them than what they unwrap on Christmas morning.
That, for me, would be the best Christmas present ever.