I like my role at Christmas time. I feel as though I really shine as the resident cookie-eater and gift leaver. I like to give it my all too. Leave a note, crumbs, little touches that make it a bit magical.
I go all out on Easter too, this ain't a once-a-year kind of gig for me. Truthfully I relish in it every chance I get.
"Mom, why is there a note on the counter from Abe Lincoln saying he hid a present for us in our house? This is creepy. Should we be worried??"
"No kids - its President's Day. Isn't that cool? Good ole Honest Abe left you a gift?! How awesome!"
Okay, I don't actually do that for President's Day but if someone felt like starting the tradition, I can't say I wouldn't jump in and test the water.
Despite my love of giving and surprising and covering every surface in a layer of holiday-themed confetti to make it as sparkly as possible, I do think there's a handful of people out there that over do it.
I know. Weird, right? Me who leaves a trail of baby carrots so the Easter Bunny can "find our baskets" thinks something can be overdone? Do tell, crazy lady, do tell.
So here's the thing. A lot of kids (mine included) don't really need a lot of stuff. They might want a lot of stuff - but need? That's a different story.
However, just because they may not need it doesn't mean we should just shaft the poor little believers and take a doo-doo on their holiday magic, right? We just need to keep it in perspective.
Perspective that looks a little less like one of Oprah's Twelve-Days-of-Christmas giveaway shows and a little more like Christmas. For kids. Who are already pretty lucky.
Take a minute there...
Am I saying you should stiff your kids this year and save that money for college "when they'll really need it and appreciate it?" No.
Am I saying you should teach the little buggers a lesson and instead of gifts give all the presents they would have gotten to Toys For Tots? No - don't put words in my mouth here (or in this case, on my page.)
All I'm saying is, I'm not Oprah. And you're not Oprah (unless you really are Oprah in which case "Hi, Oprah" and omg I can't believe Oprah is reading my blog?!?!)
So if we're not Oprah, should Santa coming bear a freakish similarity to "and you get an X Box, and you get an X Box and X Boxes for everybody!!"
Mmmmm, probably not.
Hey, I want you to sparkle and shimmer in your jolly red suit, I do. Have fun in that role. Enjoy the merriment of it. But I also want to tell you that (and remember, I used to work in an elementary school) the kids who get everything they asked for over Christmas break tend to return to school playing the role of entitled turd-heads.
And why wouldn't they? They asked. They received. The didn't need it. They don't think they need that third grade education either and that overboard treatment they received over break just verified that they're right.
That whole "tis far better to give than to receive" thing - as a parent, that's spot on. There's nothing like watching your kids open a present and seeing the anticipation on their face, the joy when they get something unexpected. I'd love to give my kids every dang thing they wished for just to watch them open presents. But then those tiny turds would likely turn on me - morphing into spoiled tyrants right before my eyes.
I can't have that.
There's only one tyrant around here. And she's the one who ate the cookies.
Be a giver this holiday season. A giver of everything?? Nope. No need. A regular old giver is just fine.