I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the importance of making sure my kids don’t become overly commercial and generally desensitized when it comes to the spirit of the Christmas season. I mean, truth be told, both my wife and I are at a place of privilege in our lives far beyond either one of us ever experienced growing up. So, it’s probably only been a natural inclination to focus on giving our children all the things we couldn’t have ourselves as kids.
It’s been hard balancing that genuine desire with the ideal of also giving them the things we did have. Things like grit, determination, hope in the midst of disappointment, and faith. Man…this we had in good measure growing up. Every year my younger sisters like to remind me of how when we were growing up, when I got my first job I went out and packed the Christmas tree with gifts because I wanted my sisters to have something for Christmas. I think even then, I knew it was only a band-aid on a longer term problem. And the problem is being grateful for what you already have.
Today, we were in the mall per our usual last minute holiday rush, and I just felt this sobering feeling all day, to just be in the moment and enjoy the fact that we’re all together, all alive, all healthy (well, at least Olivia’s getting over her cold). Did I really need those $375 pair of wireless headphones? Probably not. That’s why I left them in the store. But I definitely needed those Air Force Ones, lol. I managed to make it out of Target relatively unscathed (meaning, I didn’t shove every toy into my cart), however I’m a sucker for book stores so the children’s section in B&N got several $$$ from me today. Meh. I’ll call it a win win.
Meanwhile, I’m looking forward to these next few weeks with my company’s ample time off for holiday break, I get to relax (sort of, I mean the kids will be home so…), read (hopefully at least 2-3 good books), and catch up on writing. It’s moments like these that allow me to exhale at the end of a long day shopping with two toddlers and a wife who grows weary by the moment at the sound of another breakdown in Macys. Deep breath. Tomorrow, I get to get up and do it all over again (it’s grocery shopping day).
PS- found photo from the shopping chronicles. Notice the stroller (that carries 2 children mind you), absent of either child lol.