Saturday, December 29, 2007

The Christmas Wrap-Up

It's been a season of growth and learning and trying new things. I started preparing for the holidays by thinking that I wouldn't be doing much for Christmas. After all, it's not like we were home for the actual holiday.

Then I put up a tree with twinkle lights. Then I made some ornaments. Then I started hanging cards on the wall. It was like a snowball rolling around until it became a snowman (introducing the Mathis Snowman Collection 2007).

I blame it on the Christmas Tour of Homes. I have so many great plans for next year, and I can hardly wait to start shopping the clearance bins for decorations this week.

My mom gave me some beautiful ornaments for Christmas, and they are elegant enough to stay up all winter.

I'm planning on picking up some Christmas-y children's books so I can read them for Ben and Anna next year. It's a shame that we don't own a copy of "Twas the Night Before Christmas."

Ben didn't really understand the season, though he really enjoyed all of his new toys. This brings us to a new conundrum.

My son turns two on January 2nd. He's getting another load of toys. It's insane.

So how do we separate the two events? How do I make his birthday different from Christmas? There'll be less people for his birthday since we're not having a party (though you are all welcome to join us at the Pizza Factory that evening). But really, for Ben, this will just be another toy haul.

He loved all of his matchbox cars. Now he has more than two. :) His new slide? Wow. Such a versatile item. It's a car ramp and a butt slide. It's a "Wheee!" He looks adorable in his new outfit, and he loves it when I push him when he sits in his huge tonka truck.

For his birthday? The theme seems to be Thomas. He's getting a bunch of Thomas items from a couple different people, and he's getting a Bob the Builder dvd from us.

I never wanted a spoiled child. I have this "thing" where I don't think having lots of fancy toys are necessary or even very healthy for children. Until I was a pre-teen, my family wasn't wealthy. You could call it poor. I didn't get a lot of new things every year. My mom made most of my clothes, and my toys were garage sale finds. It was a fundamental aspect for me. Being told "no, we can't afford that," my mom using delay tactics until I moved on to something else, and learning that life being "fair" wasn't dependent on having the newest Barbie.

Now I have children, and my siblings and my parents are generous, loving people who love to see a squeal and sparkle when a kid opens up a gift. How do I try to instill my values on my children? I can't exactly tell people to stop buying things for them. I'm not going to take the new toys away. Or maybe I should just be grateful that my children get to have nice things and try to keep them humble and unspoiled at the same time. It's possible, right?