“Be like a duck. Calm on the surface but paddling like the dickens underneath.”

~Michael Caine

Friday, September 5, 2008

The Holidays are coming...

...and this year they are NOT TAKING MY MONEY! Are you kidding?! It's barely September and already the stores are putting out Christmas stuff. What the heck?! Is this where the phrase 'Christmas in July' came from? This year, Ty and I have decided not to but gifts for any of our adult family or friends. This year is the start of a new tradition. We will only be buying gifts for the children in our families. All of the needs of the adults in our lives are met in abundance. Anyway, most of the 'gifts' purchased for our adult family and friends are not really gifts at all; they’re more like tokens in a complex exchange system filled with obligation and rules. We will be spending more on our holiday cards this year. A small treat will be included in each one. So I'm sorry if I offend anyone for not buying gifts. If you're really want to purchase a gift for our family, please find a charity to donate to in our name. Yes, we will still decorate, mostly because I just love to decorate. But, also because decorating is part of the traditions that kids remember. I will always remember the way my Aunt's Christmas tree looked with all of the colorful ornaments. The little white lights twinkling all over and the warm glow that they cast after all the lights in the house were off.

The gifts we intend to buy for the children will be small and reasonable and hopefully practical and fun. The holidays have turned into something that is exactly opposite of what it is supposed to be. I don't consider myself a religious person, but I do believe in family values and basic morals. I feel like the holidays of today are teaching our kids 'Look at everything I got for Christmas!' Instead of 'Look at all the things we gave for Christmas!' Hopefully when they are older we can start to do charitable things in our community. Like, hand out doughnuts and coffee to the homeless or work for a day at Father Joe's serving food. Something to teach them how to be fulfilled by giving instead of receiving. I know this is going against the grain of our society today but I really don't want to fill my home with meaningless gifts and trinkets. I'd rather fill it with memories of my family and I just being together. My daughter won't cherish the Dora Kitchen Set that she got last year from 'Santa', but she will always remember that we made Christmas cookies every year.

This is something that I wanted to do last year but it was too late in the season to propose it to my family and friends. So, consider this my official announcement. Please do not buy for us as we are blessed to have the means to obtain everything our family needs to survive and be entertained.

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