Thursday, December 20, 2007
'Tis the season~
I'm never all that jolly at Christmas time. It's too commercial, too demanding. I hate demands. I hate to follow the sheep through the stores-- not that people mean to be sheep, but 'tis the season-- spending money I shouldn't, spending time wrapping gifts when I am tired, gifts that will only be ripped open, expensive paper burned in the woodstove or cluttering a landfill.
I don't know how to return Christmas to what I think it should be: peace and love. All is calm, all is bright.
It's hard to back up.
I don't like all the hype. But somewhere along the line, early on when my three kids were little, I succumbed and set a precedent that I want to end, but how?
Here's what I'd say to new parents:
Don't start off your Christmases by piling presents high under the tree. It's easy to do when a lot of little toys, relatively inexpensive, make a big pile to the eye-popping delight of the little ones. Their excitement makes it worth repeating next year, and the next, until suddenly the gifts aren't so inexpensive, and the pile must shrink or credit cards be used.
My kids have never whined and begged for things. Really. My Christmas angst is my own doing. I hate to disappoint.
But will it be the "kids" (my youngest is nineteen, but he's my baby) who are disappointed if the pile under the tree is small? Or me, who wants to see the sparkle in their eyes.
Me, I think.
Me, they tell me. "Mom, relax," they say.
And I have, a little. My husband has done the shopping so far. He's better at it than I am anyway. I'll wrap.
And this Christmas I hope to find the calm, the peace, the love . . . the reason for the season.