23 December 2013
I don't need a little Christmas, but maybe they do
I was talking to ABM last week about my worries concerning our kids and the holidays. Each year the holiday season has become less and less festive in our house, partly because ABM and I don't really want to be bothered with all the trappings. I mean, he would be happy to have the house decorated as long as he doesn't have to put the decorations up or take them down :-p. I don't like the whole sense of obligation that goes with Christmas, such as rushing around to this program and that party. Anyway, I've been wondering lately if our kids will grow to resent the fact that I never play Christmas music or bake cookies or whatever. I can just see them in their 30s lamenting to their spouses that their parents never gave them a "real" Christmas.
This musing of mine prompted ABM to try to inject some spirit into our family, three days before Christmas. Yesterday he announced that we were all drawing names for a Secret Santa exchange within our own house. Today he gave the kids $10 each and let them loose in Walmart. After that he gave them $5 each to buy a $1 gift for each of the other family members at the dollar store. This isn't a revolutionary idea (I'm sure there are plenty of other families that do something similar), but it was the first time we had ever done it and it had the kids all abuzz. They seemed to have great fun making suggestion lists, putting them on the fridge, and then trying to catch someone taking a list off of the fridge so they could find out who was whose Secret Santa.
We still haven't put up any decorations, but I don't think we need to. This activity brought some excitement into the holiday for the kids and helped all of us learn a little more about each other's likes and dislikes. Now I just need some eggnog to make it a real Christmas.