Thinking about how Christmas has been different these last few years. Funny how I was never really nostalgic about much until I got to sitting around all day with little to do. Idle hands, and all…
First, the kids are older, married and have dual responsibilities, re: family visiting during the holidays. I often find myself feeling resentful at having to share not just the grandkids, but my own kids too. That lasts until I think back to when De and I were first married and then started a family of our own. I don’t remember either family making a big deal of our schedule. I do remember feeling guilt at a perceived slight we may have done to one family or another during those early years. I also remember telling myself to get over it after several years. Having had families of their own, larger ones than we did, they certainly understood.
Second, well, it’s all about that bling. One of my favorite traditions, actually two, have taken a dive these last few years. Up until the $ font became fixed, I always bought everyone two gifts specifically from me. One practical (call it a serious gift) and one gag gift. Think Nerf guns, squirt guns, small rc cars, or something reminiscent of their youth, like “My Little Pony” for Brie-Anne. That’s gone now and unlikely to come back. It makes my holidays a little less, oh, glittery, I guess is a good word.
These things don’t necessarily “ruin” anything, but take a little shine of the process, more so the last for me. That also serves as a reminder to me how commercialized we’ve become. I know I’m not the only one who has spent too much time worrying about wether or not their presents will be well received, or that they’ll be seen as a grinch for a “bad” or no gift. This has bothered me more these last few years now, especially where the grandkids are concerned. In reality, family and friends are way bigger than that.
So I’m trying to remind myself now, not that it is bad to spend on your loved ones when you can, but that those loved ones don’t care either way. As long as you see each other during the holidays, that’s the real deal. That’s the goal we should shoot for always, to be together as much as we possibly can and to enjoy whatever time we do have together.
Ho, Ho, Ho!