Thursday, December 15, 2011

Britney Spears

Why, on EARTH, have grocery stores been playing so many Britney Spears songs lately?! I thought she was long gone and dead and over...

In other news, I think I've composed about 20 blog posts in my head over the past month and every time I find the time to sit down and blog I can't think of what any of them are. But I do have some thoughts on Christmas I would like to share:

Tim has convinced me that Santa Claus does not exist in our home. I am utterly flabbergasted as to what implications this will have in our future. I can totally see the reasoning, but at the same time, I definitely have very fond memories of Santa Claus and don't think I was emotionally harmed. He is a tad creepy though, and I hate the bribery and manipulation of "you have to be good or Santa won't come" and the fact that Santa obviously likes rich kids better than poor kids. I'm tempted by the babushka tradition instead. Still magical, but she comes to houses where she hears children laughing, not necessarily behaving and following their parents' commands. I read it in our Christmas book about different cultures. Don't know if it's actually practiced in Russia, but I still like the story, and how it relates to the Savior.

Also, he doesn't think we should give our kids presents. One, because he's worked at Target one too many holiday seasons and he hates nothing more than when parents come in and HAVE TO HAVE A CERTAIN COMMERCIALIZED TOY and it's ALL HIS FAULT Target does not have it. And all of a sudden their Christmas, along with their child's, is completely ruined because they didn't get that one dumb toy that would probably only be played with for a month and then thrown into the back of the closet and given to DI by the next Christmas. I completely agree with this. And have you seen the hot new toys of the year!? When Tim came home and told me people were looking for a game called "Doggie Doo" I thought he was surely joking. One way I've considered avoiding this is not allowing TV in our house. It's from commercials that kids think they want these things, right? Tim thinks they will still want them because other kids will want them, but then I reminded him our children's friends will be elitist hippies who also don't watch TV and play with wooden block sets and homemade finger paints.

Secondly, I love my mom. I really love my mom you guys. But she has this thing about buying so many unnecessary presents. And then I get all these things I didn't want in the first place, and then I have to deal with the guilt of returning everything and she just goes on this "you are SO ungrateful" tirade, and then I feel all bad about making her feel bad and then Christmas is forever tainted. This has actually vastly improved in years past, probably due to some combination of my maturing and not being so angsty and her getting better at not buying me a bazillion things I don't need. And this Christmas, it seems we may have reached our acceptedness in the non-presents department. We'll see how it pans out...

Next: spending Christmas at home with just our family. When I told my mom this yesterday, she said it made her sad for me. I don't know why she would be sad about it, when quite frankly, I am very excited to have our first Christmas as just our family. Rather than shopping and present-buying and gift-opening, we've been making batch after batch of delicious Christmas cookies, listening to delightful music, and reading lots of Christmas books. Honestly, the kid is not going to care either way if he gets to open presents on Christmas morning but he will love making a gingerbread house. Plus, I hate wrapping presents. I hate excess stuff. He doesn't even play with the toys he has (exceptions: his train set, play kitchen, and football). He'd rather draw on an empty car seat box with markers all afternoon or read library books. No need for fancy contraptions to keep this child occupied. Even though when we do go to Target, he does love to go down the aisle and press the buttons on all the electronic toys to create quite the cacophony and fake music and voices "A is for APPLE! B is for BALL!"

So, am I scrooge and ruining Christmas for everyone yet? Well, I do have a few good traditions I want to implement, not just shunning the old ones. I really like the idea of three gifts per person: something to read, something to wear, something to play with. And I'd like to buy all three locally/handmade. If not local, there are always a million darling handmade items on Etsy that I covet. If I'm going to spend money, I'd rather support a small business or individual rather than Wal-mart and Mattel. I'd rather spend the same amount of money on three really awesome quality items than 10 cheaply manufactured toys. It seems quantity is what most people shoot for, so their kids can have 20 presents to open on Christmas morning.Which is really fun, to be perfectly honest, but is it necessary?


  1. We do the 3 gift thing (and the "something to wear" is always new pajamas that we open on Christmas Eve) and we also do a stocking that is from Santa. I want credit for getting them the fun toy, dang it! Santa can get credit for the toothbrush.

  2. We don.t do santa. We are doing one present for both kids to share. And we do stockings too though. And we also do lots and lots of stories about baby jesus

  3. One of the main reasons I NEVER want TV is because of the marketing to/at children. It just plain creeps me out. I think without Tv it is totally possible to steer a child's gift choices. I had a cousin who's 6 year old daughter wanted a "bump it" for Christmas because she saw on TV it would make her hair pretty. Oh, and they got it for her. I shudder every time I think about this family. A lot of my blog posts lately have been about recreating traditions so they are are not stupid and meaningless, so thanks for reinforcing my thinking about these things.

  4. We do four gifts (for christmas is one about christ-a book- and for birthday it is one homemade) but i definitely am trying to minimize Christmas. I have definitely debated the whole Santa thing, but when i see my son's eyes light up and just the joy it brings him it makes me smile. I am not scared by finding out my parents are SANTA but i also have some pretty darn fabulous memories of Santa. Just please be careful to tell your kids not to go telling every kid they know. I just can't stand when the kids go running around "SANTA ISN'T REAL" ruining it for all the other little kids who believe.

  5. I just love this. I think those are great ideas.

  6. I feel like maybe I've said this, and you've probably already read it, but the zen habits blog has a couple of great posts about Christmas without crazy gift giving. I would love to know how things go. Remy isn't old enough to care about Santa, but I don't see him being a huge part of our lives. Though I do love the magic and specialness of Christmas, and I want a way to create and preserve that.

  7. I love this rhyme and we use it in our house "something you want, something you need, something to wear, something to read" Have you heard about "Elf on a shelf" ? It's such an AWFUL fad right now, and I love your comment on how children are told they have to be good or Santa won't come...what a load! somehow santa trumps what Christ or their own parents think? I'm not ok with that.

  8. Santa has been a fun and special part of our Christmas, but I get you not wanting to go there. Just tell your kids, when they are old enough, not to let my little boys in on the secret. Megan definitely knows, and I'm pretty sure Gavin knows, but he's not saying anything... just in case. It's cute.

    Second, buy your kid a Christmas present. We have bought most of our presents from the consignment store or craigslist. They are going to get a lot of "stuff" but most of it is second hand, educational, etc. We thought a lot about what they were getting, instead of just fads.

    But I agree that striving to make Christmas Christ-centered and more about DOING special things rather than gift-giving is an excellent goal.

    ps Remember that Mom's love language is gift giving. She just likes to buy stuff, so you might as well let her. Direct her to this website: and let her go to town for Atticus.

  9. Our 6 year old almost believes in Santa-- He changes his mind off and on. We have a TV but we only watch public television, but since J goes to public school and friends' houses, he still wants commercialized toys. I'm not sure how to avoid it. We have several like minded friends and several unlike minded friends. We also do the three gifts and have our children give away 3 of their toys before Christmas.
    I think what you're doing is wonderful. Theo won't feel entitled to stuff.