…… is a double-decker-skyscraper-for- Cinderella-and-Belle-and-Ariel-and-some-wigs-and-a-Spiderman web-shooter-and -a new-Elsa-doll-and-a-Frozen-book-and-a-swimming-pool-and-a-new-castle-for-my-other-parents-Lauren-and-Harold…..
This is what I hear every.single.freakin.day. And it starts in July. Legit. Christmas. It’s everyone’s favourite time of the year, right? The big shiny trees, the bright lights, sitting around the piano singing Christmas carols, sleigh bells in the snow… wait what? Sorry, got carried away on clichés there. It can be a lovely fun time of the year. Except for certain moments when you’re the parent of a child. A child who finally GETS Christmas, and more importantly, understands it is the season for giving. Giving gifts apparently. Lots of them. All to the child. Give me allllllll the presents Mummy. Grinchmas is my homeboy right now.
So when the catalogues come out, it’s like a Chariots of Fire sprint to the letterbox. Me vs. Miss DP. Racing to the front door, she weasels her way under my arms as I attempt to unlock the front door while having Miss SP hanging off my arm and Bruce under my legs. Miss DP, being the beanpole that she is, can slip out the front door when it is barely ajar. I feel like she’s an extra from the X Files sometimes, she must suck her ribs in and morph her body to slide through the way she does.
And while it’s cute to see her excitement, and to hear her squeals as she madly circles things she’s desperate for Santa to bring (which is basically the entire catalogue. She might as well just colour the whole damn thing in), I’m also acutely aware of trying to not let her think this is all Christmas is about. Or any celebration for that matter.
It can be tricky to manage kid’s expectations around gifts. We crave their excitement and joy, we revel in being awesome, and feel all loved up when those arms wrap tightly around us. It’s like a drug, giving gifts. I will admit, I am a gift junkie. Can’t seem to kick the habit. I’m all about the adulation. I might need to see someone about it. While we grown ups know that gifts may or may not occur, and that’s ok, little ones sometimes kinda miss the point, and they come to expect a lot.
So what we’re trying to do here is let the love and excitement about gifts flow, but also setting up clear expectations right from the get go. Being straight about what these celebratory times are all about, and the number of gifts they receive. A couple of things we’re doing are:
- Explaining clearly what it means to get gifts- that it’s a bonus, and not an expectation
- Making the focus on the celebration instead- time with the family, time to relax and have fun
- Not promising that every.single.thing *could* become a gift “if they ask Santa”
- Helping the girls to look outside of their situation. Donating to charities, buying gifts for underprivileged kids
- Teach them the fun of giving, rather than receiving gifts. And Miss DP LOVES giving gifts. In fact, she’ll give away anything and everything to others. I’m expecting to wake up one day and find her sitting in an empty room. Husband would be happy as it’s ‘less hoardtown’ apparently.
Sometimes, we can feel a little guilty to limit things. But you know it’s the best thing for our cherubs. Whatever disappointment they might feel at not getting the latest Elsa cartwheeling character who also cooks you toast, it will be short lived, and they will move on and enjoy what’s in front of them. These kinda things are all normal, as kids work out the big picture. While frustrating trying to manage expectations, they’ll get the hang of things soon enough.
Until then I just need to accept my catalogues are going to be multi-coloured for a while, and I’ll sound like a broken record. And if Lauren and Harold think they’re getting another castle… they’ve got another thing coming. Kiss my ass you bastard fake parents.
How do you manage the whole gift sitcho with your kids? Do they steal the catalogues and colour them in like a drunk rainbow too?
So in the spirit of
Grinchmas Christmas, link up your favourite Christmas post from this year and then if you get a chance, pop around and say hello to some of the other lovely linkers. The party has just begun and links will close on Boxing Day so plenty of time to visit some of your favourite bloggers. Link up here or over on Our Urban Box, Life at Number Five, The Thud, From Calm to Conniption, Boiled Eggs and Soldiers, Stephs Joy or You had us at Hello. Doesn’t matter where you link as your link will show up in all 8 places.