Saturday, December 12, 2009

Welcome Christmas

This was an old pic of Kit and Claire during primary one year...gotta love it!
(has nothing to do with this post...just thought it was hilarious.)

Rob and I went out shopping today along with 3 Billion other people...and that's just here in Ogden. That's why they wrote that song... "Oh there's no place like home for the holidays...." you know....because the whole time I was thinking..."let's just go home".

We already kinda decided that we wouldn't get much this year anyway, nobody really has any money to be wasting, so we all want to keep it really simple. Our family has always felt like this, and I am happy that they do. It wasn't always like that. We had a few of those over-the-top Christmas mornings, full of too many gifts, wrappings, candy, and ribbon.....and also full of:
1. mother's stress out and shopping anxiety Christmas morning psychotic breakdown...( me sitting on the couch christmas morning,staring off into space mumbling and pulling wads of hair out...)
3. kid's Christmas morning unappreciative disappointment. ("is that it?"they would say, holding 100's of dollars worth of doc martins(remember them?) and boxes of new clothes, etc.etc... just shoot me now...)
Don't get me wrong, those Christmas' were great, we were all together, and it's what people think it should be like, it was fun, but when you come right down to it....not nearly as gratifying as some of the other Christmases that we have spent without all of the "crap".

One Christmas, years ago, Rob and I decided that our gift to each other would be to get out of debt. We took a large chunk of savings and paid off all our credit cards. Then I took all the credit cards, chopped them in half and hung them all over our Christmas tree! My statement to the world, that I wasn't going to be a part of the mayhem. Our teenagers were mortifyed, and completely embarrassed (but that secretly makes me happy too...)
Anyway...September of that year...Rob got laid off from his job. the only dollars that we had that year for Christmas was from "sand dollars" that we had collected from the beach on a family vacation during the summer. We happily hung them all over the tree and proceeded to have one of the best Christmases ever, remembering the tender mercy that it was to be out of debt. We laughed and talked about great times we had together, and played games, had a nice dinner...all done with almost no presents whatsoever.
(We decided to focus on making some family traditions... like English crackers at dinner...*see the bottom pic...)

It really is parent's fear that drives the Christmas machine. Fear of that disappointment from our kids, and maybe remembering our own disappointments. Also I think it might just be that we want the gifts to represent our love...that great big love that we feel toward our families ( but then leaves us feeling that great big buyers remorse and anxiety afterwards...less than a feeling of love...I'd say...)
There have been other Christmases that were even scarcer...but were faced without any fear. I have come to learn...It really doesn't matter. It truly is about being together, playing games, laughing and talking, and loving each other.
*do I need to say again what dorks we are? The tradition lives on:

"Welcome Christmas, while we stand...
heart to heart and hand to hand."
(Dr. Suess)
Make it a good one this year.
Love you all...without any buyers remorse,


Kenzie said...

Denise, I so love you. Your post nearly brought a tear to my eye. I love you and your family and your endless support and love. Thanks for sharing Kindle with me. She's my favorite friend.
Enjoy your Christmas, and I know you will, and I am glad that you too feel as I do that the money isn't the reason for the season.

Becky said...

Amen to that! Have a Merry Christmas!