Ahhh, Christmas. The time of year when your children “have to have x, y, and z.” (Essentially whatever latest crap toy/craft makers have dreamt up and advertised on Nick.)
In the interest of saving us all a lot of grief and clutter, I just want to state a fact we so easily forget when our children are sitting there looking at us like Puss in Boots telling us they have to have the 20 or so items on their Christmas list…
THE MUST HAVES…WELL…THEY AREN’T, ACTUALLY.
I think back to all the flashy toys my infant daughter had to have in our early years and Christmases together. Much money was spent on those flashy, colorful toys.
Her favorite toy? Dry pasta in a plastic container.
I had placed the pasta in the container after dinner one night to preserve it. My daughter took it and refused to give it back. The container actually still sits in my pantry because I get teary and nostalgic every time I consider dumping it and cleaning it out. …Unlike all the flashy crap I sold to the highest bidder years ago.
|I cain’t quit you!|
The list of must haves that weren’t goes on and on:
You get the point.
The list of stuff that has been used and loved:
Notice anything about that list? I do. The items we use and enjoy the most are largely utilitarian items.
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not suggesting that you never buy frivolous items. There’s unreasonable joy in receiving stuff you really really want, but don’t need. Ralphie wasn’t really going to use his Red Rider Bee Bee Gun to protect the family from Black Bart. He was going to shoot cans…and his eye out. And I still remember the Christmas I got the ‘My Child’ doll that every girl had to have and no one could find. Oh how I loved her. I never brushed her hair because I didn’t want to ruin her. And, actually, I never played with her because I didn’t want to get her dirty, but dammit, I loved her. She’s actually still lovingly packed in my garage. Well, she’s in the garage… possibly thrown wherever, but she’s in there, and I get warm fuzzys ever time I see her.
So I’m not saying don’t do it. I’m saying don’t go crazy.
Having reviewed the kids’ extensive Christmas lists for 2012, here’s where I’m leaning:
At the very least I’m going to avoid my debut on “Find the Cat” or “Hoarders” or whatever that show is. If you ignore this post and end up on reality TV, I’m not claiming you.
(Okay, I’m claiming you, but I’m laughing at your ass along with the rest of America.)