We literally had no room. NO ROOM. For my kids to get any new presents would mean they would have to throw away something to make room. They were not done playing with the toys they already had and no where near out growing anything either.
My email ruffled a few feathers.
okay....a LOT of feathers.
All of a sudden I was the grinch who stole Christmas. I have never seen such a storm of stirred up feelings like that before. WOW! From the ugly words spoken to me and about me you would have thought I was roasting plastic baby Jesus's on my front lawn.
My kids have never lacked for toys.
Because I collected toys when I was single. I still had all my childhood toys. I LIKE TOYS. They had a ton of toys to play with before they were even born.
I choose toys for my children that ran on imagination. As a result they didn't get tossed out once broke or out of batteries.
(Bonus Christmas memory...4 years ago the Borg and Romulins shot up the ginger bread house...despite the federation trying to stop them. That is the stuff my kids will remember.)
My children have a lot of toys.
A LOT OF TOYS
Seriously. Even to this day they have a bazillion.
Partly because friends and family give them tons, and partly because my kids work for their money and buy stuff for themselves too.
That last Christmas in the small place, was very limited presents. I gave them enough to make it magical but really cut back.
They didn't notice.
The next year at the new place, I cut back even further. There big presents were pillow I made.
The didn't notice that either.
(Bonus Christmas memory: filled their stockings with all the goofy gag stuff like Chinese finger traps and bloody nail through the fingers and rubber animal nose masks. Love this picture of them.)
This year I'm going grinchie again.
They have each picked out a 10$ present that they wanted, and I will fill there stockings with goodies and get some candy stuff, and they will probably get a DS game and a movie. But that is it.
I am done with this MUSTBUYSTUFF mentality for Christmas.
November 1st I went to wal-mart and was bombarded with Christmas stuff before I even walked into the door.
The stores know we are a slave to memories.
That Christmas memories tend to feel magical and woosh us back to the innocence of youth, back to a time of cinnamon scented anticipation. Where the night was lit up in twinkling lights and the smell of pine trees left a happiness in your heart.
We try to buy that back each year.
Spending money that most of don't have to buy something that you already have in your heart (or maybe never had so we try to buy it?)
Yeah go a head and grinch-a-fy me. But I want something more for my kids. And that can only be given, by not giving to them. Christmas will not be about 1000 presents. It will not be dazzling lights to excess, it will be something quieter and more personal.