Reformed Grits

Too much junk
October 13, 2006, 6:28 pm
Filed under: Life

If you hadn’t noticed, I’m starting to think about Christmas.   It takes me forever to gear up for this, and honest to goodness I really do enjoy it.   Not so much the presents, but the celebration of Christmas!  Everything from parties to attend, to food, to sending out Christmas cards (which I actually enjoy!)  But the presents…??  Not so much.  I realized this when reading Jennifer’s blog where she was actually talking about the fact that I was talking about Christmas!  I hate spending the money on things my kids just don’t really desire.  We really aren’t the kind of folks who can spend money just for the sake of spending money!  If there was something they REALLY wanted, it would be my joy to give it to them.  But this time of year, they wander aimlessly through Amazon Toys and just say, "Yeah, that looks neat.  Ok, that too…"  I’m fostering greed and gluttony– two characteristics I would like to NOT embed in my children.  I am realizing the following things:

-I am really thankful my kids don’t whine and beg at Christmas.  That’s a good thing. 

-There is nothing they really want for Christmas

-Yet I feel I must buy them something.

-And finally, they really would be sad and disappointed to have nothing to open.  (Obviously!) 

Last Christmas I was convinced that Sugie would just love a kitchen!  I was so excited to give it to her and spent more money on her than anyone else to get it.   Mr. Grits spent the entire Christmas Eve night assembling the thing as I had visions of "Mommy, I’m cooking like you!  Come play with me!" dancing in my head.  (She actually does love to cook– in MY kitchen.)  Today as I cleaned out and rearranged her and Bee’s room, I took the whole thing and put it in the closet.  She probably has not played with it 3 times this whole year.  What a waste of money. 

I want Christmas to be about Christ and His gift to us.  Yet, my children are in a family where we choose to not celebrate Halloween but Reformation Day— (no, we aren’t Lutheran) or Easter (we celebrate Resurrection Sunday) and it could be argued that Christmas is derived from a pagan holiday too.  If we chucked Christmas we’d have no real family holiday traditions because it’s not like we actually "DO" anything to celebrate those days.  I want to do better.  I want to reform it for our family (Hey, this IS Reformed Grits, right???) and either give them something they want (which, I have no clue what it is) or make it so meaningful that they don’t care if they don’t get anything.  (Not likely!)  What’s a mom to do? 

Well, whatever the case, I am resolving to not blow money this year for the sake of obligation.  Of course, I have no idea what I will be doing instead!  Any thoughts??


3 Comments so far
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What about “time”? Isn’t this more precious that money? You could put coupons in their stocking for “one afternoon with Dad at their favorite park” or “breakfast with Mom at a restaurant” or “Dinner date with Dad” or “Cheesecake with Mom”or “bowling and icecream with Dad”…I’m on a roll….Does this sound “cheesy”? Maybe you already do these things with individual kids…we don’t do it enough. I think I am going to put those ideas in my kid’s stockings. I would lot rather spend the money that was than a toy that will eventually be forgotten. Think of the memories you will make!!

Comment by Caroline

This is something that I have thought about for a few years now, too. Hmmmm…
The only thing that I could come up with is that you and Mr. Grits sit down and say to the kiddies just what you are saying here. Tell em you don’t know *what* to do, but you think it is time for a change, and do they have any ideas?
Maybe if they could have a part in the tradition making, they would more easily embrace it?
There is my $.02…LOL!

Comment by Gayle

Caroline–I like your idea. I may steal it from you.
This will be our 3rd year doing the 3-gift thing (like the wise-men). However, we also do pajamas on Christmas Eve, a stocking, and 1 gift from Santa, so it’s really six gifts. Still way too much.
Kim–what about a big “family” gift instead of individual gifts. For example–you could put in their stockings a note that said
“we are going on vacation to…..” somewhere you all want to go.
I don’t know, just an idea.

Comment by penny

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