Merry Christmas!

If ever there was a sign that Christmas is too excessive around here, I just had it.  A ridiculous sign.  A completely embarrassing sign.  A sign that I’m mortified to write about, but because I feel that way, I know I should.  So here we go…..

My children’s school is holding their book fair next week, and my son got a “sneak preview” at his library time yesterday.  After school he sat, poring over the flyer with all the titles listed, thinking about what he wanted to get.  At some point, he informed me that there was a really cool amusement park DS game.

I stopped what I was doing and stood there a moment.  “Yeah, but didn’t you get that for Christmas?”

He looked at me, eyes wide.  “No.”

“Are you sure?  I’m almost positive I bought that for you at the last book fair, as a Christmas gift.”

“No, Mom, I don’t have it.  Do we have it?” He was getting excited now.  “Because I don’t have it.”

That started an evening full of me second guessing myself (Am I losing my mind?  Did I change my mind, put it back, and not buy it?  Did I never get it out to wrap?) and my son hounding me to look for it.  I told him I would look first thing after they went to school the next day, because I’m not disassembling the laundry room closet in front of my kids.

So this morning, yes, there it was, laying down flat on the very top shelf, well out of my line of vision.  The stupid DS game I’d gotten him for Christmas and forgotten to give to him.

What bothers me in this instance is not my absent-mindedness, although that’s admittedly a little distressing.  It’s the idea that we had so much stuff to unwrap, so many gifts given and received, that I didn’t even notice it was missing.  The really unfortunate part, for me, is that I thought we’d done a better job this season of not being so excessive in our….um…. “celebration.”  I truly thought we’d scaled back, and had been much more reasonable this year.

A thought proven wrong by one small game.

 

 

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day!  Yeah, I know, it was a week ago….but think back for a minute.  What did you do for Valentine’s Day?  How did you celebrate?  Are those two dozen roses starting to smell a little…off?  Did the chocolate look a lot better in the box, instead of on your hips?  Are the cute balloons deflated and the stuffed animals starting to get dusty?

The only reason I ask is because of a story a friend brought up.  I’ll let her tell it:

At Wal-Mart, on Valentine’s Day, the woman two in front of me in line was bemoaning the amount she was spending on “all this junk.” Her cart was piled high with cheesy stuffed animals, heart-shaped candy boxes, and other gimmicky wares. She said to the lady behind her in line, “You know, none of it means anything.”  I so wanted to say, “So why are you buying it?!  If it means nothing, then do something for someone that does mean something instead of wasting money on things people don’t need, that mean nothing to you or to them.

Maybe it’s time to reevaluate our “celebrating.”

I still remember our coffee maker dying right around one of those “romantic” days; it was Valentine’s Day or our anniversary, I don’t recall which.  I just remember when my husband asked me what I wanted, I said—in all seriousness—a new coffee pot.  He told me later how completely horrified his female coworkers were, that he would buy me a coffee pot on such a special day.  Guess what?  Years later, I am still using that coffee pot, often more than once a day.  One of the best gifts ever.

I don’t mean to say chuck it all, I don’t mean to say you shouldn’t be getting gifts for your loved ones and I definitely don’t mean to be some miserly witch trying to hammer all the fun out of any holiday.  I just mean to encourage everyone to take some time to think:  about what is truly important, about how you really want to celebrate, about what you want to take away from this “special day” a week (or a month or year) later.  I’m actually a big fan of flowers (though roses aren’t my favorites), and who’s not a big fan of chocolate?  Let’s just make sure that we choose to “do something for someone that does mean something instead of wasting money on things people don’t need, that mean nothing to you or to them.