But I do NOT want to hear Christmas music before we’ve carved the Thanksgiving turkey!
And what’s with the pre Black Friday sales?
I don’t mind Black Friday. I was one of the fools at Toys R Us at 5am the day after Thanksgiving when my kids were little. But that was because they had Play Dough for 99 cents. It was a way for me to grab things on a budget. Because I HAD to.
Back then, Christmas gifts were hidden in the attic, wrapped on Christmas Eve and I had an official paper to track batteries for everything–so that I had exactly the right batteries after Santa showed up.
Back then I wanted to throw bricks at the TV commercials. The items on the kids lists were tucked away in the attic above the garage. But new commercials appeared daily, for another gadget or gizmo and the kids changed their minds…
Them: I don’t want that anymore…
Me: But you already put it on your Christmas list. You TOLD Santa what you wanted. Remember?
Them: But I want THAT now.
I cannot be the only one who crawled up into the attic above the garage after my kids were asleep, retrieved the item they no longer wanted, hid it in my trunk, then swapped it out for the ‘better’ thing they saw on a damn commercial.
And of course, I HAD to change the official battery list!! AND wait until the kids were asleep to put the new toy back up into the attic…
Though I enjoyed every (or almost every) minute of raising my children, I cannot say I miss that song and dance.
My favorite part of Christmas:
Taking the dogs, the kids and whoever wants to go…out to cut down a Christmas tree. I’m 42. Which means I’ve been part of picking out 42 Christmas trees. And it’s ALWAYS fun. No matter what. Nothing like the smell of a fresh-cut tree.
In the rain, in the snow, when the dogs misbehave (Because they like to go…), when the tree doesn’t fit on the car, when we tried to stuff 3 Christmas trees into a friends truck, when we couldn’t find the place we went to the year before–and found a whole new place on accident. When the tree was bent and I had to twine it to the paneling in the Great Room to keep it upright, when the cat climbed the tree and knocked it over. (Cause that’s what Shadow cat did…) Always an adventure. One that never gets old…
People have fake trees, because they don’t like the mess, or they have allergies. But to me a fake tree is like a plastic flower. Whats the point? It isn’t really a flower.
I love baking Christmas cookies, listening to Christmas music AFTER Thanksgiving. The first snowfall. Driving my car down the street and looking at the twinkling Christmas lights outside, the lit trees inside houses. The smell of cinnamon pine cones, family gatherings, extra time with my family, friends, children and dogs. Going sled riding. Bundling up and taking the dogs for a walk in the woods.
Here’s what isn’t fun…
Loud, noisy malls. Crowds. Masses of people. Traffic. Long lines. The frantic rush to buy people stuff they neither want, or need–and probably don’t even like. Trying to spend set amounts of money on people, or feeling pressured to present the ‘right’ gift. (Thankfully, I’ve never been in that position…)
Those closest to me don’t care if I buy them a Christmas gift. They love me either way. And that’s mutual.
It isn’t that I don’t shop–I just do so in a relaxed fashion. If I happen to be out and about and something catches my eye, I might pick it up. (If it’s in the budget). If I don’t see anything, I might bake somebody their favorite cookies, or do something thoughtful for them.
Lets be honest. Teenagers like ONE thing. Money. Plain and simple. They don’t want what we old people get them. We might think we have excellent taste–but we really, probably don’t. And they probably won’t want what we get them…
I get my kids some fun things to open. Things that have meaning to them, or are fun. For example, I got my daughter got a black, marble hippopotamus last year. (She wanted a hippopotamus for Christmas–like the song) And I actually got her a quirky, odd, inexpensive trinket last month. Something fun.
But what the kids love best is getting money. When they tally up their total, they get right on the computer and start figuring out what they want. They get far more than I would have bought–because it’s on sale. Also, they get exactly what they want. In the right color. The right size. They’ve even put the money they got from me together with what they get from others–and got one big thing. Or put their money together to share big-ticket items, to avoid spending all their money.
Whatever. I’m just happy I don’t have to go to the mall!!
And I’d be happier still if I could enjoy Thanksgiving this week with my family. Some time off work. Some peace. WITHOUT the premature Christmas music.