Thank you so much for all your thoughtful, wonderful, kind comments telling me that I’m not a giant Grinch after all.
I am not sure why it takes me so long to figure these things out sometimes. I think, for some reason, I expected Christmas traditions to happen organically. For a perfect magical Christmas to show up along with the rubbermaid tote of Christmas decorations and it never occurred to me that it was something I needed to actually CREATE for myself. I think I’ve been trying to order Christmas from Amazon.com, and it turns out they don’t sell “perfect Christmas” in a box after all.
It has been me and Erik for a long time now, and so just following along with our old family traditions was simplest. But now we have kids and somehow that’s when it got more confusing. Luckily our kids are still very young and so even though we’re still in the figuring out stage, that means we get to decide, still, what we want to do with this holiday. Is this even making any sense? Christmas is in flux, I guess, is what I am saying, and we can still change it and meld it and we can do whatever we want to do!
I think I got caught up in the idea that the more presents I stuck under the tree for Eli, the more fun Christmas would be for him, and for us. And that’s totally not true. In this case, less really is more.
For clarifications sake, when I say Eli got a lot of presents last year, I mean, no exaggeration, that he got between 40 and 50 things. This was…excessive. And overwhelming, and stressful for everyone. We’re not going to repeat that this year. (Even though no matter what I do there is STILL a voice in the back of my head shouting “HE NEEDS MORE PRESENTS” for reasons I just can’t explain.)
But lo! We have a plan. I always feel better when I have a plan. And even though half of me still wishes “Retreat to a desert island” was in the cards this year, it isn’t, so instead, I present to you, The Christmas Plan:
1. Get all the Christmas shopping done on one weekend. Even better, on one day, leaving one present left to buy on a fun outing with 1. one of my favorite people and 2. a gingerbread spice latte. And then after that, STOP. NO MORE SHOPPING.
2. Fill the advent calendar I made last year with fun “stuff” to do with Eli. And blog it! Get ready for that tidal wave of excitement, ya’ll.
3. Limit what we buy Eli to 4 things from us. This will be a Leapster, Duplos, Markers, and an art jar. He’ll get one thing from Santa which will be a Fisher Price MP3 Player. He’ll also get stocking presents but I am going to try to make it things like pajamas, play doh, a copy of Chicken Run, soap, socks and other useful or consumable things, rather than crap no one wants that will just get thrown out. Plus he’ll also get presents from grandparents, cousins, the neighbor, our friends, etc. From his grandmother I believe he is getting the only thing he really asked for which is a cash register.
I think this is probably still too much stuff. But baby steps, right? Stuff I know he’ll use while entertaining himself is a gift to us all, you know?
4. W will open Christmas presents Christmas Eve, with fun snacky fattening drinks and appetizers and desserts, but no big Christmas dinner. (Instead we’ll do a fancy New Year’s Eve dinner). And then we’ll drive around and look at Christmas lights.
5. Christmas morning will be for stocking opening and a one present from Santa, and then we’ll go to Dim Sum and then for a hike or a bike ride.
6. I am going to try to listen to as much Christmas music as possible, which always puts me in a better mood. I need to find the NPR schedule because I love all that pretentious choraly type Christmas music.
And that’s it! I know Eli and I am guessing he’s going to have way more fun with the 25 Advent Calendar activities that he would have being overwhelmed by 45 presents.
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