Friday, November 30, 2007

Here Come the Holidays


Kathie Shoop

I do love this time of year. I've never grown out of the thrill that Christmas and New Years brings only now it seems doubled by being able to pass the season's cheer onto my own children.

Here are some Christmas Morning gift-giving philosophies I've heard over the years:
*Don't give much because we get stuff all year.
*It's once a year and the kids are only young once, so really make it magical (in a gifty sense).
*The wisemen brought three gifts, so we only give the kids three gifts.

I fall into the second category for the most part. There is nothing I like more than finding the right gift for someone including my kids. I do wonder if it's all too much, but I try to buy presents that they can "do" things with like art supplies, games, books, outdoor sports stuff.

Yes, I recognize the denial. I also have them select gifts for children who won't have a big Christmas and as my children grow up, I'd like us to do something more substantial on the charitable front. Perhaps that will wash away any sense of entitlent that a stack of gifts under the tree would encourage. Or not. Time will tell, I suppose.

I've found that even my friends who susbcribe to the "The wisemen rule" don't really stick to it. They stuff things into the stocking (apparently the stocking is exempt from the rule for some secret reason), even going so far as to buy bigger socks for that purpose. It gets messy no matter what your take on the subject, I guess.

I've finished nearly all my shopping and decorating around the house. Hopefully, barring family disasters and MS flare-ups, I can spend the month of December, baking cookies, attending children's holiday parties, wrapping gifts, enjoying an attentiveness to daily events that I don't normally engage in. For me, December is actually a time to slow down. Yes, there's that denial again, but I try to do that, I really do.

How about you? Any last minute shoppers out there? How about other early-birds?


Tory said...

I have to admit I'm not a Christmas fan. I'm grateful that my neice and nephew have reached the age where money is an appropriate (even preferred) gift.

However, the last two years I joined the dance group at my church, and I get really excited about our part in the "winter solstice" celebration. For me, it's the one point where the holidays feel really spiritual to me, not just about food and supporting the economy.

Joyce said...

Although we never "overbought" for our kids, we always made sure they got most of the things on their Christmas lists. Now that they're 23 and 19, I have to nag them to even get a list! When I do get them, the lists are much shorter now. Andy wants dress shirts and pants for work/school, and Josh wants a piano tuning kit and a new hard drive for his computer.

I don't think it hurts to get children what they want, as long as they don't expect it and truly appreciate what they've received.

Annette said...

Kathie, I hope you realize that the bit about being nearly finished with shopping and decorating is going to bring you a lot of hate mail.

I've been very bah humbug for the last few years with all the health and family crises going on. But I'm actually feeling just a tad festive this year for a change. I may go out and get some decorations (small stuff) for the house. And I'm going Christmas shopping this afternoon...for gift cards. Quick, easy, and no returns.

Hey, you can only expect so much from a Scrooge.

Working Stiffs said...

Tory, that's terrific that you found a place and people that make the holidays feel important. From what I read, people are more on your side of the street than mine--not loving the holidays--but I guess when it comes to this period of the year, I don the rose colored glasses...

Joyce, I've heard that a lot, that it's not long before all the kids want/need is clothing and money and I guess that's sort of what makes me want to enjoy it so much now, when it's more than that to the kids. I'll let you know in a decade or so if I've created monsters or generous kids who want to see someone else's face light up as much as their own!

Annette, I do realize the risk in admitting that my shopping and decorating are nearly done, but anyone who knows me, understands that other than work, nothing in my life is organized--I'm never ahead in housekeeping, or anything related to if I was Martha Stewart all year long, well, then you could stone me if you felt like it. Hope you have some fun with the holidays this year and I wish you the best of luck in the New Year, you had a tough one!

Joyce said...

Kathie, I really miss the days when my kids were little. I even miss staying up half the night to put the Batcave or the Ghostbusters firehouse together so they'd have it Christmas morning!