I say I am going to do it every year. My husband prods repeatedly "Let's just have a simple Christmas this year." Then what happens is that I start preparing early, forget the things I have purchased and squirreled away. Then on the night before Christmas I see all the stuff and get that sinking embarrassed feeling in the pit of my stomach. I glance nervously at my spouse and seek his approval with questions like "It isn't that much is it?" But I already know the answer. It's always too much. And when I look around the house and the crap we have sitting here piling up dust it's enough to make me nauseous. I think about the kids in the world who are happy on so much less. I think about Mary and Laura Ingels playing with an inflated pig bladder having the time of their lives. And I don't think my kids are the blessed ones. They are perhaps at a disadvantage having been given too much... So this year I am determined-things will be simple. Braces on two kids and expensive violin lessons have stretched our budget and I'm certain that this is a good thing.
We have been verbally warning the kids that this year will be 'practical.' No flashy things that will only be played with for a week. We are getting things that we need. We are making things instead of buying. Now if I only could buy some time in a bottle for the quilts I have in mind for the girls and the photo albums I plan to put together for the boys. I know... when you were a 13 year old boy you really craved a photo album catching up on the past 3 years didn't you? Not to worry- there will be legos. But no fancy race-tracks that break too soon, no telescopes or ipods.
When I asked Big Boy last night what he desired most for Christmas his response was "I can tell you what I don't want this year... my very own nativity. That totally sucked as a gift last year..." He just won't let that go. Which is even more reason I am determined. The spoilage needs to end. Just like T's family used to say when he was a boy. "We're going to have a lot of love this year for Christmas." I must admit the cockles of my heart really warmed towards Little Boy when I asked him the same question I asked of his brother and he said "How about a new mattress for my bed" Now that really shows those practical wheels have been turning. Something he needs and will put to good use every dang night! His Christmas wish just might come true. If he's really really good.