Posts Tagged ‘december’

This Christmas I Am Spoiling My Kids Rotten

Wednesday, December 20th, 2017

Hello Internet.

Thank you for all the wonderfully written, thoughtful posts about how kids these days are too focused on things and not on the true meaning of Christmas. It’s so important to remember that giving is far superior to receiving, just as God gave his love to all of us. I also read your advice on how experiences make better gifts than giant hunks of plastic. It’s true! You made some excellent points. Then there were the 4 Things devotees: Something you want, something you need, something to wear and something to read. It rhymes! So adorable and minimalist and a great way to cut down on junk! And finally, there are the hardcore anti-stuff people who object to basically all of it and make their opinions loudly known. Thank you for your input, I appreciate the time you took to explain it.

This year, I am flat out ignoring ALL OF YOU.

wrapping presents

 

 

 

And I’m doing it 100% on purpose. I haven’t accidentally bought too much. I am not pretending to purchase only hand-crafted, heirloom quality, Waldolf-inspired toys. I am not claiming to be a minimalist while buying piles of presents. This is intentional, planned, thoughtful spoiling.

Our December has been full of both experiences and things. This year, we are seeing Santa no less than 5 separate times. We have five sets of matching Christmas pajamas, including two sets for me and one for the dog. Caroline has a special dress for The Nutcracker, a different special dress for our photo session with Santa, and another special dress for Christmas Eve. Oh and one more to wear on Christmas day after taking off her matching Christmas pajamas. We are opening seven advent calendars every morning. There are custom printed Santa bags for each child and fancy gourmet chocolates for their stockings. They are getting everything they asked for and then some. There is a giant Batman robot, thousands of Legos, and a stupid Baby Alive that pees. There are sleds and ride on toys and loud beeping things. ALL FOUR KIDS get their own Fingerling monkey, even the baby, who definitely does not need a Fingerling monkey. When they come down the stairs on Christmas morning, they’re going to freak out and scream their little heads off with joy.

Do you know what won’t be around our tree on Christmas morning? Their father.

I realize things don’t make up for your dad being deployed during Christmas. There is no present in the world I can give them that will stop them from saying “I wish Daddy was here”. My heart breaks a little more every time they say it – which is often. This isn’t their fault. They didn’t ask to be born into a military family. And until this year we’ve been able to shield them quite a bit from true Navy life – no moving, no long separations, no new schools. I grew up with that lifestyle and although I enjoyed it for the most part, not having “a” home or long-term friendships or a sense of being FROM somewhere can be hard sometimes. We’ve been very lucky that we can do this a little differently than most military families. But our luck ran out now that E is very fancy and important; his skills and expertise are needed on actual working submarines, and actual working submarines deploy.

It’s hard. Being the only parent means I am responsible for all the Christmas, for everyone. I don’t mind, really, because I love Christmas. But trying to buy stocking candy when I am never without at least one child is hard. Wrapping gifts at midnight is hard. Trying to decide if it’s time to tell the big kids about Santa is hard. I’m still part of a partnership as far as parenting goes but my partner is unavailable (most of the time he is 100% unavailable, not reachable by any means).

My choice to go completely overboard and ignore what other people are doing is in no way meant to be a reflection on others. This doesn’t just apply to our specific situation regarding Christmas presents or even just the holidays. As I am very fond of telling my children, different families make different choices. Some do small Christmases, some do big Christmases, some go to great lengths to be with as much family as possible, some want to stay home. Some people step away from Facebook and social media to stay focused on family, but I couldn’t imagine doing that when I spend so much time as the only adult in the room. Some find that taking photos helps keep them connected and in the moment (me, 100%), others find that putting away the camera makes them happier. It is a difficult time of year for so many people for so many reasons, finding joy however you want should be allowed. And this year, my joy is in distracting my kids from things that make them sad with things that make them happy.

Come January 2nd when everyone goes back to school, I am going to be cursing all this STUFF that will have taken over my house. There’s nothing more #firstworldproblem than buying too many toys and then being annoyed by too many toys. I’ll remind myself of that as many times as is necessary during the long, cold, dark months between the end of the holidays and the end of deployment. But right now, I am SO EXCITED about Christmas magic and that is just what our family needs.

Related posts:

Dear Miss Manners
My Week(14) in iPhone Photos
My Week(345) in iPhone Photos

My Week(319) in iPhone Photos

Tuesday, December 20th, 2016

I was looking for an old post on the blog this week and ended up scrolling through tons of these iPhone photo posts from weeks 210-220. It was SO fun to see what we were doing 100 weeks ago (Evan was getting head stitches, I wore Lincoln in a lot of wraps, Caroline smiled). So even though this is a full 2 weeks late, I’m vowing to catch up and do better in 2017.

Sunday:

Baking day!

Helpers

Most of these are gone now.

Monday:

You go to the bus stop, I’ll stay on the porch out of the snow.

Penguin wearing

Making kale salad (which was delicious)

Tuesday:

Kitchen helper

Seriously, my kids LOVE cooking

At the Polar Express

Wednesday:

Cute brother time

King of Bedhead

More cooking

Thursday:

Blanket? Scarf? Blanket scarf!

I keep wearing this kid so I never get to wear the baby

Cookie makers

Friday:

Very patient cat

Snoozing through the Velvet Mill Holiday Market

Stuffing his face with dinner cupcake

Saturday:

They asked me to take their picture and posed

Again, this was at Caroline’s request

BEBEH SUSPENDERS

That last picture is from the day we took our family photos so I could order Christmas cards. Today, most people should GET our Christmas cards in the mail, thanks to my quick editing, remembering to buy stamps last week, and Minted’s amazing addressing service (not sponsored, I paid them a ton of money for cards, but the envelope address printing is SO WORTH IT). Almost all the wrapping and gift buying is done too, so most of this week I just get to relax and do Christmasy stuff like more baking, planning fancy Christmas appetizers, and watching Christmas movies. I might even get a long winter’s nap or too, because E has most of the week off. IT’S THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR.

Related posts:

Animal Baby
My Week(201) in iPhone Photos
Lake Compounce 2017
Get Adobe Flash player