Monday, November 29, 2010

Grumbling about all the excess, and some other things

Black Friday came and went and we didn't buy a single thing! Ok, that's not true - we visited the tile store and kitchen and bath store on Friday, and then went to Starbucks to treat the kids for behaving - mostly :) Oh, and I picked up a Cricut personal cutter at 7am on Saturday because it was a SMOKING deal (now what the heck do I DO with it? Do I really NEED it?) but other than that, we didn't buy anything. There's not much in this world that will entice me to wait in a line for a store to open at 3am when I have the magic of internet shopping  and price comparison at my fingertips :) That said, if I had a partner in crime to head out with I would probably go - as it stands though, I'd be going it alone in the dark and cold and frankly that's just not all that appealing. Anywho!
We were supposed to have company for the evening Friday night, and they'd arrived at 4pm & were in the house all of 15 minutes when Evie threw up. They promptly said their good-byes and high tailed it out of there - not that I blame them! So with our evening suddenly free, Matt and I tackled the toy closet in the playroom & worked on purging some things. Christmas is in a month and my kids want for nothing - really. Evie has a room full of stuffed animals and yet it's never enough. I swear William doesn't know what any of the stuff he's asked for actually DOES; Sarah imagines things in her head that she'd like to have and then its my job to 'interpret' that and hope she isn't disappointed. Jason? Doesn't need a thing, but surely I have to come up with SOMETHING for him (other than the $90 Dance Star Mickey he saw on TV and has to have)...
Evie and William are about at the age where I really remember Christmas from my childhood. When I was around William's age, each year my sisters and I got  new winter boots, because we needed them. I remember we would each open the box, see it was boots, and chuck it aside to move on to the next gift. These days it seems like most in our circle have all the 'needs' met, and in most cases even the 'wants'. At what  point does it all become ridiculous?
Evie and William 'get' the fact that, even though they make lists, they aren't guaranteed everything. And we're trying to convey that point to Sarah - just because you ask for something doesn't mean you get it. Especially if you invented it yourself - Santa Magic has limits, although he does try really hard :)
Food is another thing that sort of gets out of control at the holidays. I remember my mom baking cookies with us, dozens and dozens of different cookies. She'd put them out when neighbors came over, take them with when we'd visit family, and freeze a bunch for us to have over the holidays. I feel the 'need' to continue that and bake all the cookies I associate with Christmas, but then I end up eating them all. Because while we all did the 'cookie swap' in years past with neighbors, that's kind of died off - everyone's on a diet, and everyone is doing their own baking. It's not so bad now that my kids are bigger and I have FOUR of them, but still - do we all need to be eating all these cookies?
I guess as we head into December, I'm wondering how to keep it simple and MEANINGFUL. I'm hoping this is the year we get it right, and don't go overboard, and make the mistake of setting expectations too high for next year. Because that's a downward spiral toward disappointment I don't want to get into.
So William lost his tooth! All that wiggling during Thanksgiving dinner paid off, and by 6am Friday morning he was standing next to my bed telling me all about it. The other 3 front teeth are all wiggly too so I'm wondering if he will still be able to bite anything by Christmas :)
I want to thank everyone for voting in my poll and telling me your thoughts in the comments! I really, really appreciate each and every one. I think I'm going keep shooting for twice a week, on Monday and Thursday mornings. That's a manageable number for me, and since the voting is pretty much split evenly between 'more' and 'whenever you get to it' we'll stick with the status quo - at least until maybe next fall when Jason starts preschool. Surely I will have a little more time then, right? Or have I drifted off into fantasy land again??


  1. I haven't' really shopped much either and it's driving me bananas.

    Have I told you before how great your pictures always are? What mode do you shoot in for the indoors? I have the hardest time!!


  2. Maybe the kids are old enough, at least Evie & William, to choose children in need to help for Christmas. Mine love being able to buy gifts for other children. We also implemented a 3 gift from Santa rule, one to represent each Wise-man, and a few from Mom & Dad {cutting back was much harder on us than them!}. Food for thought.

    Great crafts and I love that toothless grin!

  3. I want to take my kids on a mission to Africa. That is my dream. I want them to receive a single egg and vitamin once a week as a "treat" and I want them to dig for their own water.

    I am not a black Friday girl. But Nick has been known to stand on lines at 4am...for flat screen TVs...he nearly did it again this year, because, ya know, we don't have a 40"....I finally put my flat foot down on his flat screen obsession. We bought absolutely nothing this weekend. And it felt great. I am thinking, if your family comes here for Thanksgiving next year, I would totally get up early with you and hit the mall!!!

  4. I have the same thoughts . . . on everything! We don't do Black Friday either. It just doesn't appeal to me. And I struggle with the same excess issues. My girls seriously want for nothing. Honestly? They can't even come up wtih much for a Christmas list. So I'm hoping that this is the year that we really teach them what Christmas is all about. Of course they want to open a few presents, but they {the presents} have gotten out of control in years past. And I agree with Shawn, I think cutting back on buying for them is harder on us than them.

  5. I finally bought two presents over the weekend. But I have so much to do still. Christmas will be much smaller this year because we're only buying for the kids.

    I think it's better that way!

    Love the toothless grin!

  6. I haven't bought anything! LOL!
    And also, I totally forgot to vote! :(
    Those pics are great and love Sarah's painting! :)

  7. We are heading to FL for Christmas for the first time and I, for one, am so excited at the prospect of not really buying anything since the trip and being with their cousins is the big gift. We will take our stockings which will be filled with sunscreen and oranges and I think we will open a few things like ski socks and long underwear before we leave but as far as their lists go I hope they get that this year Santa is taking them snorkelling in the Keys.

  8. I'm with you Jen. What else is there we need?? I was just telling my sis-in-law, my parents probably felt the same way with us, but kept the "magic" happening for us into our teens! So...trying to figure out a way to keep the joy in the gift piles, the spending down, expectations relatively low, and the real reason for the season on the top of everyone's mind.

  9. I was just talking about purging some toys today. This year presents will be much less then last not only because we can't afford like we have in the past but also because it does become completely rediculous! I love William's toothless smile. Those make for some of the best pictures. I hope he looses them all. How cute would that be!

  10. You will LOVE your Cricut!!! I use mine all the time for cards, scrapbooking, school projects, vinyl wall words, you name it and you can cut it with a Cricut!

  11. I feel a lot of the same...we already have what we need and most of what we want. Is it really necessary to buy a bunch of gifts JUST because it's Christmas? I think not. I'm going to limit Isaiah's gifts to one big Santa gift and a few fun smaller gifts from us. That'll be it besides the small little gifts he gets with our advent calendar. I've limited the grandparents too. We'll see how that works out. I'm ready for a simpler more meaningful Christmas. Hoping we all find that this year.

    I love the pics!! Evie did such a great job on her kitten painting!


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