Christmas is just around the corner and Riley and I have already spent several months worth of grocery money on presents. It is excessive. Unnecessary. Potentially damaging. And I totally know it. Megan! Don't you see the error of your ways? No? Here, let me list them for you...
- My children will probably never know the worth of a hard earned dollar.
- Too many toys result in over stimulation
- Mass produced products have no soul. Now, a set of brown, Swedish inspired blocks...there is soul! There is a world of imagination!
- America's consumer culture creates mall zombies and buying two dolls instead of one contributes to the creation of more zombies
Here is the thing. I think about our little Christmas tree sparkling and lovely and almost hidden by all the wrapped gifts that surround it...and then I think about all the reasons that we should practice frugality, reason, restraint and....I just can't get myself to care. Besides I have always wondered whether I had the resources to survive a zombie attack. Only one way to find out.
Cookies and wrapping and candy canes the size of my head aside, this Christmas is going to be lovely because it is the first time that Margaret has been interested in understanding Santa Claus and the birth of our Savior. Sure, Santa Claus is a fleeting bit of childhood magic. He is unimportant when compared to the soul sustaining truth of the birth of Jesus Christ. Still, Riley and I have had so much fun teaching the little smidget about both of them. I thought we had done a pretty good job, too.
The Parents (that's us): Margaret! What happens at Christmas?
Margaret: SANTA CLAUS IS COMING!
The Parents: Margaret! Why do we have Christmas?
Margaret: IT'S JESUS' BIRTHDAY!
What do you do when you teach your kid something new? Make them perform in front of strangers, of course. A couple of days ago the check out lady at the grocery store asked me if Margaret was excited about Christmas. Oh, you bet! Here, listen to this...
Me: Margaret! Tell the nice lady what happens at Christmas!
Margaret, in her loudest, most assured voice: JESUS IS COMING!!!
Yeah. She might as well have had on a tiny little sandwich board that read, "The end is near." The lady handed me my change with a nervous smile and we headed out the door. I am sure she spent the rest of the day worried about the curly headed two year old that must live on a compound somewhere with her crazy parents.
No big deal. We have six more weeks to help her distinguish the differences between the myths and truths of the holiday season. Also ... six more weeks to buy gifts.
We better get a bigger tree.