Jeremy and I on Easter Sunday 2010

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Christmas is more than toys...

For all of my upbringing, I looked forward to Christmas Day. The month before looking at the toy ads and circling things I "wanted" and then as a teen loving the gift cards and clothes I would receive just to return to my previous ungrateful child-self within a few days after the holiday was over. All my parents efforts always seemed to go unnoticed by me because once school was back in session I would just compare what I got to my friends and think how I was so underprivileged. Guess what, it wasn't that bad. My parents did best they could and now looking back I was a total a-hole. So, sorry Mom & Dad, I sucked, as a teen especially.(But, just so you know I turned out okay, I am almost 30 and I finally "got it" in the last few years) Don't get me wrong, my parents and I didn't really see eye to eye on much since about age of 14 but I do know one thing, no matter how much I made them angry and they made me angry, they loved me and every Christmas put themselves into debt for next 6 months just to please my sister and myself.

Since I have met my husband I have done a lot of "soul searching." I am far from perfect by any means, but I want more for my kids and I want them to learn things that took me a lot longer to learn.  Now, the realization that I can try but cannot force them to get what I am trying to teach is there in the back of my head but nonetheless, I am going to try.

With Christmas around the corner this year my wonderful hubby and I have had many discussions on what Christmas is about. We have come to the conclusion that our children think its about presents and well, I don't agree. Erin, being only 2, this is our chance to get it right and start some new traditions and teach our older children a thing or two. Now on top of it, my dad hasn't worked in 3 years and my mom just lost her job, so they don't need to buy any gifts this year.  We decided between my sister and I, with 10 grandchildren that there would be no need for gifts except to buy for your own children and that is it. We had the kids draw the kids names out of a hat and each child will be making a gift for one of the other kids. They all have been told about no gifts and seem to understand but we will see who says the first thing on Christmas. I am hoping that when we sit down to talk about the last year and all we have to be gratefult o God for, they will see something new in us. We are making new traditions this year. Making a homemade gingerbread town(with 6 kids we need to have more then one house) and doing fun things like making cookies and going for walks and playing Wii Dance and kicking my kids butts!! I want to remember this Christmas for years to come.

Don't get me wrong, the kids will still get gifts, but it wont be as much as they used to from us. I will not put us into debt for toys that will get dusty in a few months. I will not allow my parents to not pay their truck payment or house payment just to buy my kids more stuff that they don't really need.  I love my kids and hope that this year starts to make a real difference on the meaning of Christmas in their eyes, so maybe one day they will be ones writing their own blog talking about the best year ever when they figured out that their parents loved them enough to not buy them a bunch of stuff they didn't need and instead filled them full of memories.

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