Why Do We Do This to Ourselves?

I am a "normal," rational, educated woman.
You are normal, relatively speaking.
Probably fairly rational.
The gender doesn't exactly matter in this circumstance.

Why do we make Christmas so stressful?

I could blame corporate America and their giant trees and gorgeous, large presents in the new-Norman Rockwell Christmas painting.
I could blame the SAHM rock-star moms who claim to wear a dirty pony tail 6 days straight by still make chocolate chip-reindeer pancakes, snowman-banana snacks for their kids, and hot glue 657 handmade rosettes onto a wreath in one afternoon without complaint.  Oh, and have a raging sex life with their husband as the icing on the cake (so to speak.)
I could blame TV.  The beautiful trees on set, lovely holiday fashions.  But I would never blame TV.  TV is my one true love (no offense real-life family.)

But then I watch the wonder in my kids eyes as Norman, our Elf on the Shelf, moves from the counter to the bookshelf, overnight.
We talk about "what do you want from Santa" to makes sure we don't miss any present under the tree.
And it's always the same thing.

Avery just repeats the word "Santa", proud of herself for understanding you.
Liv wants a pink unicorn.

Have you seen this unicorn on TV?
Have you seen it at Target?
What does it look like?
I made it up.  It's a real unicorn, and is pink and has sparkles.


Thankfully, Amazon has EVERYTHING.
Check that one off the list and we are a win for Christmas morning.
And yet, we have several other gifts to wrap for her, and for Avery.  And they'll love them.  The excitement and wonder will be there.
And the point is they won't care if there's one gift of twenty gifts.
But WE care.
We as parents put the Hallmark-glaze on everything and want to make memories for our kids.

But really, remember the first "hill" you went down on your two-wheeler?
It was steep.  Gigantic.  Surely, you could die.  Some kids HAD died.
And then you drove past it during college and giggled a little at how intimidated you were at the gentle slope in the road.
Things are always bigger when you're a kid.
And kids feed off the excitement in the room.
One parents gets excited,
And then the next,
And it transfers to a sibling
And all of a sudden the room could power Times Square.

Maybe this is my talking down my own guilt.
We are not buying the $70 Lego sets for the kids.
There's no huge new technology coming in Santa's bag this year (we did however jump on the Leap Pad train last year, so shut up.)
But Liv is getting her pink unicorn.
Avery is getting a frog pull toy, she will no doubt drag around until the wheels fall off.

We went for the gifts that fit THEM this season.
What fits their personalities and hobbies right now.
Not necessarily what was big and flashy and would flood the tree into the next room.

And the magic will still be there.
I can't wait to see it.

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Bronwyn said...

Well said. Sounds like we have matching philosophies. Make ti about the happiness of home and togetherness - not perfection or $$$$ !

Cristy said...

Recently found you're blog and I'm loving it! It's fun to see your family doing some of the same activities our family does (moa....aka hell). Great post!

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