Thursday, September 20, 2012
I won’t begin by apologizing for not posting for a while. It is what it is. I’ve been busy, like everyone else at this time of year. There was the crazy weeklong Thanksgiving travel hullabaloo and lots of work stuff going on in the meantime. And those are the big rocks on the bottom of the cup. The little pebbles and the sand that have filled in every spare air pocket of time have been composed of things like Christmas shopping, considering various work scenarios, trying to write a novel and trying to figure out who that strange man is who lives at my house. Oh, wait, that’s my husband? Cool. He’s kinda cute.
Now that we’ve dispensed with that, I’ll get on to something that made me feel like posting. The gluttony of the holiday season.
Don’t get me wrong. I love Christmas. My house is decorated top to bottom as soon after Thanksgiving as I can manage. And I would keep it all up until Valentine’s Day if I didn’t worry that the neighbors would think it was tacky. I’m loving all the nooks and crannies that the new house offers that are just begging to hold some of my holiday treasures — less loving having to tell Lunchbox continually that pretty much every one of these treasures is “NOT FOR YOU! NOT A TOY! NO NO NO!” He thinks this is a new Christmas Carol that Mommy especially likes.
I love that people become more generous this time of year and go out of their way to help each other. (Let’s just forget that nasty incident that we all read about at Walmart on Black friday. Doesn’t everyone Christmas shop online now, anyway?) My favorite blog, Rants from Mommyland, did a wonderful mommy-helping-mommy thing this year that I got to take part in, and my office also had lots of donation and collection opportunities to help those less fortunate.
With all this giving going on, it is hard for me to watch my tiny gluttons completely miss the spirit of the season. Don’t get me wrong, they’ve got spirit… particularly Turbo. He informs me at least six times a day of a new thing that he wants that he believes Santa should give him. Today in the car on the way to school I told him how we had sent a gift card for Target to another family that couldn’t afford to buy Christmas presents for their kids so that they would be able to have some toys under the tree. I explained how some children were happy to have even one gift, and how maybe we didn’t need to worry about how MANY things Santa would bring, and instead that we could just feel happy that we could count on Santa at all. I told him about how some children went to bed each night not knowing if they would have food to eat; that some kids just like him didn’t even have their own bed to sleep in or their own houses to live in. I made myself cry, so I know I was really hitting some poignant issues. I was sure that something I said would get through and was just waiting for the recognition to color the next very meaningful thing that he said. So here’s how he responded:
Turbo: “Yeah, Mom, okay, but what about when I turn five?”
Me: “What does that have to do with what I was just telling you?”
Turbo: “Will I still get lots of stuff when I turn five?”
Me: “WHA? Were you even listening? You completely missed the point.”
Lunchbox: “Saaan Claaassss ga ga bada, MY LUNCHBOX!!” (it may be somewhat ironic that one of the only words that Lunchbox can say clearly is now “lunchbox.” I believe it’s safe to say that he also missed the point of my diatribe on how to appreciate the fortunes we enjoy and staying aware that there are those less fortunate than us.)
I’m trying not to feel judgmental of my four year old. I know that for kids, the spirit of Christmas is the sheer wonder that they get to open so many presents all on one day… they love the lights and the glitter and the songs and the magic, and it’s kind of hard to get anything through the thick layer of chocolatey goodness that seems to coat all kid-related Christmas topics. And maybe I shouldn’t try at this age. I just don’t want to raise unappreciative kids. I want them to KNOW that they are not just lucky, but ridiculously spoiled (thanks, grandmas…) I want them to appreciate that there are others who are not so lucky and that they can help. Maybe they aren’t ready for that at 2 and 4.
Any suggestions on finding ways to illustrate the concept of GIVING to others would be very welcome!
Happy holidays to all…