Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Christmas is in the air

Yesterday, Lance pulled down the boxes and we started spreading Christmas cheer around the house!

I forget every year, until I am laid up on the couch with a pounding head, a nonstop pouring nose and sneezing as if I were seizing, that the dust from the attic is terrible to my allergies.

I think I am allergic to that tree.
That beautiful, gorgeous, full of so many special ornaments, tree!

So instead of heading to Bass Pro Shops to see Santa yesterday as planned, we moved the date to today.
Which is really why I started this blog...
I have a hard time with this subject every year.


You have read it before.
But I always feel like I have to break it down again.

I don't want to make my kid the weird kid who doesn't do Santa at all...
I certainly don't want to strip them of the magic and joy and happiness and hope and excitement and innocence that surrounds Christmas, either.

Still, to this day, I remember that feeling of laying in bed on Christmas Eve, too excited to sleep.
I can still put myself into that place, many moons ago, where everything was so exciting and magical.
I remember thinking that Santa had to be real because there was no way that our parents could afford these things for us.
I believed a little longer than your average kid, I think.
I loved it!

Because of that, Santa is legit in our house too...
but not without quirks.

You see, I don't want to raise entitled kids...
or ones that Jesus doesn't even enter their mind when the thought of Christmas comes up.

I don't want to go into debt, showering my children (who already have more than they need, plus more) with more junk that we don't have room for.

And it makes me physically ill to acknowledge that some kids will wake up Christmas morning, hungry, unclothed and without hope at all.

So this is my seasonal struggle where I spend each holiday, talking a lot about Jesus, his birthday being the reason that we get gifts...
Introducing the idea of 'giving to others'...
Adjusting our already unforgiving budget around the expenses,
and trying to break the conversation from other family members that Santa only comes if you are 'good'.

Because we know kids who act 7 times worse than mine, but their Santa makes more money each year...
And their parents loose their minds up in Target and vomit gifts from floor to ceiling on Christmas morning.
And my kid is smart... so I don't want him putting together that so-and-so is a turd but wracks in the lotto each year, and Maddox is decently behaved and is maxed out at $100.

So that's that.

So far, my kids have been too young to compare and contrast to other kids, so this has been a bigger issue inside this 'ol noggin of mine than it has in the real outside world, but this year Maddox is in school and his friends are already talking.
The Elf on the Shelf thing has been the topic around our house the last few days, and here I am at another crossroad, trying to decide what I am going to do with it.

If you know me, your first thought would be that I am all over this.
I love the excitement of the holidays... the lights, the nostalgia, the hot chocolate, and Christmas movies and books and so on...
I enjoy being crafty...
And I am hands-on with my kids.

But, I am also cheap and that little critter is $30!
And more-so, I already have this internal struggle with not letting Santa trump Jesus that I feel like another piece of magic on Santa's side will weigh the teeter-totter to the pretend side and make my battle for a Jesus-centered Christmas even that much harder for me to balance.

I know I am an over-thinker...
there's no need to point that out to me.

But apparently I am not the only one who has worried about this, because I found this blog and I loved how she broke it down!

She too hates the "if you're good" quota.  She says, "we believe that Santa operates out of grace, because we all mess up and we need to know that we are still loved in spite of our naughtiness!"
I love that!

I am going to talk to Lance tonight while we are out to see what he thinks about adding an elf to this house.

(Lance and I have been playing our own elf games over the last 10 years with a tacky little gold reindeer.  He stole it out my my mom's things years ago and would somehow sneak it out each year and it would sometimes be days before I spotted him.  I would get so crazy on him because I thought he was messing up my perfect decorations, but now I look forward to finding him!  So what's the harm in letting the boys in on that fun too?  Right? ....grrr, I don't know!)

So anywho...
That's my take on the Christmas season.
My joy and my struggles!

I realize I am often times against the grain... and I cool with it.
You get your kids to tinker with and I get mine.

Hence the fact that I spent money at the mall for some great new things for our 5 year old angel whom I have never met, and left there to buy my bitty some hand-me-down shoes off of a friend!

My kids have more than enough.
Maddox has the wardrobe of a girl!
And because I was so meticulous about keeping his things nice, Beckham has a great closet too (and nicely labeled bins for each stage moving forward) and more toys than we can stuff into the playroom!

Honestly speaking though, Maddox gets mostly new junk and B gets more leftovers.  (another struggle-- another day)
As a whole though, they are both showered frequently.
They were blessed with a daddy who enjoys surprising them often with little gifts for no reason at all!
And with each season change (or killer sale) they get new clothes.  You might notice that I do enjoy a label... but this chick will not pay full price for hardly anything!  I'm just stubborn like that!
I feel like my boys are blessed... in a healthy manner.  
But just like everything else, it is a daily balance.

Which was a whole-lotta talk, just to say that I am trying to accept the Jolly 'ol St Nick in the manner that I enjoyed him as a kid and push aside my own quirks...
But lets face it::  I am a bowl full of quirk.

I am so excited for Santa pictures tonight... and dinner afterwards.
And I am over-the-top excited that I am not on call tonight because my head still hurts from yesterday's sneeze-fest and I just don't have the compassion tonight to save the world! 

Bass Pro or bust...
We are out!


  1. I always love your posts! We brought an Elf into our house last year mainly for Juliana. We celebrate the real reason for this season and that always comes first but we do Santa as well. He does not bring a lot. My dad works at the local food bank and I have the kids buy with their own money gifts for the kids that visit there. My older two work there on the day they pass out food and toys to the families for Christmas. It really hit home with both the kids last year.
    You will know what is right for your family
    Hope you had fun visiting Santa....I have never taken my kids for a picture with I a bad mom?

    1. NO!! You are a great mom! I want to volunteer at a soup kitchen with my hubs this season. I think it would be humbling for the both of us!

      I should also clarify that almost ALL of my friends do the Elf on the Shelf. I love seeing all of the creative ideas and do get a little jealous that we don't have one... but its such a struggle that I put on myself! (I really liked how that chick in the blog put it into words and I think she freed me a little from my worries on the matter!)
      I mean, all of my pals love them some Jesus and none of their kids are entitled little monsters!
      I just have a significant history of over-thinking everything and making mountains out of mole-hills!!

  2. Your tree is gorgeous! Love it.
    I love your take on Santa, and your outlook on Christmas. I also always want Boyd to feel that magic at Christmas, and to remember it when he is older. I'm glad you shared your thoughts here.
    We're planning on visiting with Santa at Cabela's soon!
    Your tacky reindeer is priceless. So much fun.