The holiday season is in full swing!
It is the time to relax, spend lazy days with the family playing board games by the fire, watching Christmas shows while sipping hot chocolate. Baking cookies and traditions. Family time!
……….,Yeah right! I think I saw that one time in a Christmas special, :-).
Ideally, we all would like this to be the reality. However, we find our selves rushing about, looking for that high demand toy. Trying to check off our gift lists, being rude to other people,loosing our tempers, stressing, fighting over items and parking spaces. In general, a crazy, chaotic, aggravating, rush of madness and we loose that sense of family togetherness…, what really makes holidays special.
Having 3 children, I have struggled with both extremes. All parents want to give there children everything and when we cannot (for say, financial reasons), we feel like we have failed or that our kids will notice they did without. Now think back to your childhood…, what was your favorite memory around the holidays? Was it that really expensive toy you begged for and threw a fit if you did not get? Or was it something special or closer to the heart? I can’t speak for everyone, but I cannot remember the gifts I received, I remember the time spent decorating, making cookies, putting up the tree, lights, and being together with my family.
I believe that our children will remember what we emphasize, be it the shopping and number of gifts, the time carrying out traditions, etc. In this day in age, we tend to focus on the number…, how expensive is the gift? How many gifts do I have? As Michael Scott (from The Office) said “It’s saying I only love you an oven mitts worth. I bought an ipod, that shows I love you more.” (I know I am off on exact quoting but, it’s from the first Christmas episode, you should look it up) Not: Is this something I really want? Can I use this all the time? I am struggling personally with my family (extended) because some are so worried about the number that they stress out making the holiday something to dread. I just want to grab them by the shoulders and yell “YOU ARE MAKING A BIGGER DEAL OUT OF THIS THAN IT NEEDS TO BE!” I hate feeling obligated to buy gifts (especially when we can’t afford it). The message now seems to be: Go into debt to show everyone how important they are to you; If you don’t then they don’t matter to you. Ugh!! What a message!!! What we all don’t realize or want to is WE (the people and parents) have the power over how we celebrate and what is important to our family. If you can be completely happy in that then these marketing techniques out there will no longer have a major hold over us.
It will always be a struggle, society is all about who has the newest, best thing out there and if you get it first. When it comes down to it what do you want your kids to remember? What do you want to look back on your life and remember? Do you want to have the debt of a status follow you around as you struggle to pay it off?
My goal this year is to make memories and spend time with my kiddos, not make a big deal out of the presents.
I hope you have a Wonderful Holiday and Merry Christmas! Please feel free to leave a comment on your thoughts, I would love to hear them!
*Note: I am by no means trying to upset but I have been struggling with this and just needed to put that out there!