The greatest gift at Christmas: Making memories
This year our Pops (4 yo) is fully aware that Father Christmas is watching. She knows that the alarms in stores and houses are the monitors that Father Christmas uses to make sure children are being good. Our 10 month old on the other hand obviously hasn't got a clue. So he'll never know that his new rocker isn't actually new, it was his sister's and he'll never know his new activity table was also his sister's.
I occasionally look at the quantity of presents they each have and wonder if I should buy more presents for them. Then I stop myself and doubt that Pops actually has any concept of quality vs quantity. I think she'll just be happy to have some new toys, regardless of quantity. Pudding has no idea he hasn't got a mountain of presents or that his pile is considerably less than his sister's. Let's face it, he'll actually be far more interested in the mountain of paper hastily ripped of his sister's presents strewn all over the floor.
It's not that I don't want to spend the money on them. It's that I think in the eyes of a child, innocent and simple, all that matters is that the are loved. Something every child has a right to. For me the day is about making memories to smile about and that doesn't cost a penny. Surely happy memories are the greatest gifts of all.
Children may beam as they open new toy after new toy, but we all know that most of those toys tend to lose their novelty after a short while. Shut away in a box until next year's toy clear out! However the memories made by a family being together, last a lifetime. It's a day to make a fuss over them.
Personally I love Christmas but I do feel a little guilty as we're not religious. I do attempt to teach my daughter the origins and meaning of Christmas. But I think a modern day Christmas has a non religious meaning too, it's the tradition of families getting together and just simply enjoying time with each other.
I know my view may seem idealistic and the reality of christmas time can be difficult. I talk about making memories but sometimes memories of past Christmases can be painful. We also think about those now missing from the dinner table. Then there is the pressure to get everything on the kids wish list. They scour the internet (In my day you had the Argos catalogue) asking for stuff, their 'need' for these things compounded by the fact that all their friends have them.
For parents reading this, worrying about affording Christmas and using credit cards to shower their children with expensive presents. STOP. Shower them with love instead. It is truly all they need. Use the day to play games and watch a film together. Throw out the usual rules and routines, eat, drink and be truly merry. Make memories to smile about.
Most of all have a Happy Christmas x