Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Holiday blues

It's cold  here-  the cuts through you kind of cold.  Oh, I'm aware that it isn't really bad yet, that it will be even worse in January and February.  It's just that I'm not used to it.  It seems not long ago that it was in the 70s here.  This morning as I walked to work it was 25 and even a bit of ice on the sidewalks still.  
It seems that this time of year, I always get a bit blue. Everywhere you turn it's the Christmas hype, screaming buy, buy, buy!  I'm not in the mood for Christmas yet but I need to get into gear. I would like the season to be more meaningful with less 'stuff' but the boys especially are into the gimme trap.  J14 is pretty reasonable, she isn't asking for much -although I raised my eyebrows and gave her one of 'those looks' at the request for $100 in i-tunes giftcards- I'm not sure how serious she was. I'm pretty sure she knows she won't get that much.  Mostly she wants a hair straightener (Oh to be 14), books and a movie.  The boys have issued their demands for video games.  They have been told to prioritize because there is NO WAY they are getting all they want.  Long ago we instituted the 3 presents from Santa rule.  We have been going to the same Santa at a local mall (although last year it was a different guy- I'm worried that the other one may have died- he was that old and looking pretty frail!) and it always just made my stomach turn to hear kids rattling off the list of what they wanted.  We have always told our children that they could only ask for 3 things, with the reasoning that Santa has to provide toys for everyone and they shouldn't be greedy.  We also always pick tags from the angel tree to get gifts for other children who are less fortunate.  
My parents have always been frugal with everyone getting only one or 2 gifts but V's family has always gone way over the top with gifts, especially for the children.  It hasn't been as bad in the past few years since his Dad passed away but still more than I'm comfortable with.  V is almost as bad as the boys, asking for music and several train cars (he is into model railroading) to finish off his Reading Lines collection, among a few other things.
I need to try to get into the holiday spirit.  I have Friday off since I worked last weekend (Yup- worked the holiday weekend) so I plan to do some holiday shopping.  Hopefully it won't be too crowded on a weekday morning.  I really hate the holiday shopping crowds.  You couldn't pay me to go out on Black Friday. I loaded some holiday music onto my i-pod for the walk into work.  No traditional Holiday music yet, I've been listening to The Toronto Consort and renaissance music- holidayish without being too kitsch.  I'm warming up to this holiday thing- like I'm warming up to the cold weather.  


  1. Kids can't help but want stuff, society sort of drills that into them. One of my biggest challenges as a Mom is to try to balance their needs with my ideas about what the holidays should be about.

    We have birthdays this month, too so it always seems like this month is more about balancing the budget than celebrating the season.

  2. We try to make sure they know what it's all about. We're active in our church. I11 is playing Joseph in the Christmas program this year. We will go to the Christmas eve candlelight service- then come home to hot chocolate and dessert. We try to keep the focus off the 'stuff' aspect but it is so drilled into them that it's a hard fight.
    I'm glad we don't have any birthdays this month. I had a cousin who was born on the 24th who always complained about it. We have 2 kids birthdays and our anniversary in a 2 week period in May so I hear you about the budget thing. Not as big as Christmas but still too much all together- what were we thinking!!

  3. It must be tough with older kids who have come to expect something a certain way. So many parents are in your position, at least you have the 3 rule in place.
    But you know what I've found? That kids are resilient. That despite tantrums, slammed doors, shouts of protest or grumpiness, they bounce back and adapt.

    I think if more parents realised this they wouldn't fear making changes so much. Kids who received 5 presents last year can learn to make do with 3, or with a price limit.

    I hope you feel happier soon. For me, this time of year isfor inner reflection, and lots of books, lol.

  4. I know what you mean! This is why we started a homemade Christmas. All gifts have to be homemade and you can't spend over $10 per family in supplies. We spend time eating and reading the Christmas story and the present aren't the focus of our celebration any more.

    I miss the warm weather some days as well. I miss flip flops and dirt under my nails!


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