This year I have been really struggling with Christmas.
Somewhere, along the way, the meaning of Christmas, or at least what I thought Christmas was, got lost.
When I was about 8, I remember Christmas lost its sparkle, its magic, its je-ne-sais-quoi that makes you unable to sleep from being too giddy. I remember going to bed after opening all my presents and satiating myself with turkey and pie thinking, I just got a bunch of stuff... Why?
Since then my love of christmas has come and gone, but this year it's totally left me. And with my new baby, I thought maybe I would be able to find something that would make the crowds with the pushy, impatient people not seem so rude or the endless buy Buy BUY mantra just background noise. But I haven't.
I want to teach the sprout that Christmas isn't about the stuff. But I have to fight every. single. relative. The sprout doesn't need an entire toy store or a clothing store. I keep trying to reiterate that what he needs right now, more than anything else, is to spend time with people. He won't learn from a toy that plays for him, but he will learn from interacting with real people.
I don't want my son to be a consumer. I want him to be a carefree, happy, engaging little boy who loves to spend time with his family.
But on the biggest consumerist holiday of them all, how do you tell the kind, generous grandparents, "No, really. DON'T buy him anything. Really."