There is much that can be said when it comes to Christmas giving. I love the idea of honoring Christ’s birth with really beautiful handmade “birthday” gifts. I also really hate how crazy this time of year can get, if I choose to let it. We do most of our buying on-line and at our favorite thrift store, Value World! I always go out super early on Black Friday for my 50% off coupon for being one of the first 50 folks in line. It’s totally worth the work. I always find something magical, and it’s like the heavens open and God says, “Blessed are you, crazy mother, here is a small token of love for all the wonderfulness you are trying to conjure!” It feels like a hug straight from Jesus himself!
If I had my druthers, I would buy tons of beautiful-made-in-USA-all-natural-never-been-dyed-or-touched-plastic-fanciness, but lets be real, that just ain’t happening! So, I do what I can, and forget the rest! God is so good, and he always provides. Just like David says in Psalm 23 “There is nothing I lack!”
Now for the things you SHOULD NOT do. A couple years ago, my husband and I were a bit strapped for cash, and we were trying to make the holidays more exciting, an in doing so, I’m afraid to say, we lost touch with reality. So, just in case you think like we do, here are somethings you shouldn’t try at your house this Christmas.
1. Never, in any circumstances hide or move the Christmas gifts from where your children think the gifts should be. It sure isn’t very funny. We found this out the hard way. We left all the gifts (organized by child) in our school room, where we had been wrapping- figuring (at 2 am) that they would have more fun opening gifts here because it’s more spacious than our living room. Well….then we took it a step farther and decided to tell them that the baby Jesus was their only gift this year, yes, we did that! Seemed like a good idea at the time. We even wrapped up the manger. Boo. The kids cried.
2. This one here is a classic mistake: PETS! Do not buy young children pets…..EVER…..if you enjoy sanity, or unless you happen to breed especially gentle docile kids. We got them each their own gerbil/hamster. It was a disaster. I was, for the next six weeks the gerbil police. Trying to keep kids from squeezing the poor dears to death, trying to keep them fed, and clean, and in their cages was a job…to say the least. By the second week two of them had been tortured or loved (not sure which) by my then 2 yr old, son. OMG the tears and sadness from his older sisters! Then we had the mites that come in gerbil feed, literally biting the *@!& out of us while we slept, to then finally having only one gerbil left, and my husband devised a plan to “let it run loose in the yard” thereby freeing up any more obligation to the horrid creature, and our neighbor caught the darn thing and tried to return him to us. My sweet and loving husband feigned catching it, and let it go. It was sad to see, but necessary. If only our kindly neighbor hadn’t been so nimble to catch it again and manage to get quite a large bite on her hand….opps. Note to self: no more pets.
3. Then there are the super smart kids who have detective powers beyond what is usually possible. We wrapped up a bunch of dress-ups that had been given to us from a good friend whose kids were getting older. My insanely gifted children SMELLED it. There we were opening up packages, and they’re like,” This smells like the ____ family!” Ummmm….yes, we went shopping over there because they have great dress-ups….who would have guessed that would have happened? It felt silly and cheap, and I don’t recommend it. So, if you are re-gifting, and it’s clothing, go ahead and wash it. Please. For Pete’s sake.
4. ok. Here’s a funny one. Don’t buy your kids stuff that you wish they would play with, but you know in your heart of hearts they really don’t like. So, that would eliminate the waldorf doll for your daughter who doesn’t like babies. Too bad.
5. If your kid is a sports fan, just give it up and buy the real stuff, if it looks like ADDIAS but it’s not, that kinda sucks. So splurge and buy the real deal, or just don’t go there! Seriously.
That’s all I’ve got for now. Be sure to leave a comment about things you have learned. Clearly, I am slow on the uptake, I need all the help I can get!