Wednesday, November 12, 2008

a little pre-christmas chat

I decided to drop the
"we-are-not-doing-a-BIG-christmas-this-year" bomb on the way home from school.
You have to prep children for these things months out.
We've never had extravagant Christmases
but this Christmas may be what my sister-in-law, Cheri, calls "slim pickins".
I explained that this year people have a little less money so we would get
to be really creative and think up fun, inexpensive things to give each other.
I thought the boys took the news well.
I enjoyed the blank stares that greeted me in the rearview mirror.
But my stomach gave a little lurch when Will called out peppily from the back,
"Don't worry, Mom, Santa always brings us lots of presents."
"Huh?" That was my response. I always forget about the Santa factor.
"Mom, Santa always brings us lots of presents.
Then Jack piped up,"Hasn't Mrs. Brien told you about Santa Clause?"
Which elicted a warning glance from me,"Jack Aughtmon!"
Because two years ago, Jack had come home from kindergarten
saying that his teacher said Santa Clause was dead.
Which I think was probably revealed in the telling of the story of the real Saint Nicholas,
but no matter, the Santa veil had been torn from his eyes.
He was in the know.
"Oh, Mrs. Brien will tell you about Santa," Jack said to Will, with a nod.
"I already know about Santa, Jack!" countered Will.
Will was unconcerned about parental lack of funds. Santa has him covered.
The conversation turned south as the boys threatened to buy each other
Barbie dolls for Christmas as all loving brothers like to do.
But I'm looking forward to the Christmas season.
I know we will be having some fun no matter what.
There's nothing wrong with doing Christmas on the cheap.
Sometimes it seems like that's when the memories get good.
I still remember my favorite christmas present as a little girl.
A fat stick of strawberry bonne bell lip gloss attached to a cord that hung around my neck.
I was all of 5. How I loved that sassy lip gloss.
I believe that was the very origin of my love of lip gloss.
I wore it with my velvetine Christmas dress like a priceless neclace.
So I am not worried about my boys and their slim pickins Christmas.
Between the dollar bins at Target and Santa, they are totally covered.

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Kara said...

Loved this post. I agree that your boys will be just fine and more than likely - they won't even remember that you said it would be "slim pickens" this Christmas. My dad got laid off one year right before Christmas and our parents told us that same thing. My mom wrapped every little gift - including our favorite 25 cent gum and we all honestly remember that as our favorite Christmas ever! A little cheap never hurt a kid - in fact - it is probably a great thing!!

Pamela said...

one of our funniest Christmases, with the kids, was when we said we had to make things for each other. We were all presently surprised! We also love to shop thrift and yard sales. It is mine and my husband's game to see how fun and personal the gifts can be and how little we can spend. Oh sure, I am worth the Tiffany's ring and he is well worth the Rolex, but the roof over our head and our pocketbook says Claire's and Timex. :)

Kim said...

We've often done Christmas "on the cheap" and it's always fun. We've come up with some crazy ideas for gift giving over the years! And those have been the ones the kids remember and love best.