This blog is now retired. My new site is at: Predictably Irrational.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Gift Giving

I hope everyone has enjoyed their Christmas this year. I know we did. The girls were up at 6:01 - I told them they couldn't go downstairs until after 6AM. I actually woke up at 6:30, without thinking it was 6:30, since it seemed that 10 minutes before, it was 5:30 and I knew I had time before the girls went amok.

As I came down the stairs, they were surrounded by Santa's gifts and both excitedly told me what they had received...of course, at the same time.

Every Christmas I think back to when I was a kid. It is vastly different now. The concept of "instant gratification" seems to be more prevalent in the world I live in. Kids want a bike? Run to Walmart, or in many cases - the high-end bike store, and get the bike. It doesn't have to be a birthday or Christmas gift - just any old day of the week.

The same goes for most things: "I need jeans and a t-shirt" - head to Tar-jay and ta-da! It's yours. A new phone? Hey, the contract is up, we can get new phones for cheap.

So what do we save for the Christmas and birthdays? It's the same stuff, essentially, just more of it at once.

When I was a kid, I remembered getting my 10 speed bike. I wanted it all year. And when I got it on Christmas Day, I was the happiest kid in the 'hood. My feet couldn't even reach the pedals but I rode that bitch like it was MINE...cuz it was...finally.

I also got an organ one year. Yes. Laugh as you must. I was 'forced' to take organ lessons as a child. The image you see on the right is the type of organ I played on. I practiced at a neighbor's house and then one year, I got one for Christmas. It wasn't much of a surprise since my mom told me. One thing my mother cannot do is keep a secret and I almost always knew what big gifts I was getting for my birthday or Christmas. I LOVE surprises, so in my old age, I beg my children not to tell me what I am getting.

Anyway, again, I got the big gift one or two times a year. Not Wednesday. Not Thursday. But Christmas Day. Or my birthday.

Our Christmases have gotten less expensive over the years. One reason was that we were buying crap and the kids just discarded them without care after day one. I also was turned off by attending birthday parties and seeing the kids open one present, toss it aside, and open another without consideration of the value of the gift or the value of the 'idea' of giving. I toned down our birthday parties too, which many friends find cruel. If you knew how much crap we shovel out of their rooms...even NOW after toning wouldn't think it was cruel.

Anyway, I'm far from banning materialism in this household but I am very thankful that my kids do appreciate the gift -- even when there are socks and undies -- and appreciate the gift-givers. It is the one time of the year that CJ and MiMi actually get along and say THANK YOU to one another. And for me, that's enough of a "big gift" to wait all year for.

1 comment:

  1. Cheers for socks and underwear in stockings! I got a ton of socks this morning.