I am realizing more and more these days how much more fun the holidays are when you're a kid. Of course, this is an obvious thing...when you're a kid you have all the fun and none of the work. That's true of pretty much every aspect of life. But I am honestly getting tired of the holidays, which makes me kind of sad. It just feels like everything is rush, rush, rush and even when I'm trying to enjoy myself, my thinking revolves around work or money: how much is all this costing? What do I have to clean next? What needs to be organized? Cooked? Baked? Shopped for? Wrapped? Mailed? Where's the next place we have to be? Who have I forgotten? Do we even need this at all?
Case in point. When we just had Rachel, Christmas was wonderful because everything was new. Each stage she reached brought new fun, new toys she could master. But now that we have four children--we have every toy we could ever need. I walk through a toy store or page through a catalogue and think: we have that. Or we had it and it was lame. Or it has WAY too many pieces to clean up. Or that will break in ten minutes. Or it only does one thing and for what it costs, it isn't worth it. Or the kids won't want to clean that up in a week. Or we don't have room to store that....on and on and on! My kids have too many clothes. I rarely buy clothes because we have so many. I save Rachel's clothes to go down the line of girls, and my sister has given us so many clothes, both girls' and boys', that we could clothe the children of a developing nation without much of a problem. It is rare for me to have to buy my kids anything besides shoes, socks, tights and underwear--and the rare impulse purchase of something that is just too cute to ignore. We have more books than a library and more crafts supplies than we ever use. We have hundreds of movies and CDs, and we get movies now from Netflix anyway.
A month or so ago, I blew my stack when the kids had made their rooms total disaster areas and told them to forget about Christmas. I said that we weren't going to spend a thousand dollars on more things we don't need to have cluttering our home, things that nobody wanted to clean up anyway. They would be getting enough gifts from grandparents and Santa, and that our family Christmas gifts were just going to be shelved this year. We are going to do something as a family instead. Matt and I talked about going to a Broadway show--but frankly, for all of us to go we'd spend $500 easily, even on discounted tickets, and I just cannot justify that for three hours of fun! Plus it doesn't include anything like dinner out--the "rest of the day" in the city. I don't know what we are going to do, but I am not going to buy and wrap a mess of presents for under the tree that will just turn into a mess in the house a day later.
Scrooge? Yes. But I will be saner for it, so too bad!