I R Scrooge


clip art christmas tree from OpenClipArtI’m fairly certain I did a post like this last year, but I just need to get it off my chest. -_-

Today is December 4 and yet Facebook is dotted with pictures of Christmas trees that my friends and family already have in their homes and the shops have been playing assorted Christmas carols for at least a fortnight. On Saturday I saw the Salvation Army brass band and the pretty coloured lights are already on all over the city and running up the council’s electricity bill.

Mental.

Anyway, what I actually want to say is, why do people keep asking me what the boys want for Christmas?! First of all… they’re not even a year old, I doubt they want anything. Second, they don’t HAVE to have anything. This post is designed to sniff and poke at the commercialism of Christmas these days and it’s all the more obvious to me how much I hate it, because I keep getting the same questions and comments.

Oh it’s their first Christmas, you have to get them something!

What shall I get them?

How are you celebrating their first Christmas?

You must be really excited; its their first Christmas!

Well I tell you what, people… I’ll be celebrating their first Christmas the same why I plan to celebrate every other after; with love and family time. Those are the only habits/traditions/expectations I want to instil in my boys. Presents, stockings, bad food, though nice are not what Christmas is and should be about and I want to make sure they know that. I want them to know that the important things are love and sharing and togetherness. I don’t want to raise the type of children who have a freak out on Christmas morning because they didn’t unwrap the toy they wanted, even though they have twelve other amazing gifts. I don’t want to raise the sort of children who go to school, tot up ‘totals’ of how many presents their friends got and then come home to complain about it. I realise a some of that will be difficult because kids suffer terribly from peer pressure and the need to fit in and be like everyone else, but I hope I can raise individual boys strong enough to rise above that to some level. I want them to understand what things are worth and how much time, effort and money goes into something, so they can properly appreciate it.

I don’t have anything against Christmas in of itself. I remain amused that the Christian festival of Christmas takes root in the Pagan festival of Yule and conveniently forgets ignores that the majority of its traditions (tree, tinsel, wreathes) come from the practises of pagans that pre date Christianity by a loooooooooooooooong way. Separate debate. Doesn’t matter right now. I just don’t like the commercialism. That’s all. So if my freaking out over the presents question, makes me a scrooge, I guess I’ll just have to hold my head up high and accept the title.

What do you guys think? How is Christmas celebrated in your home? What are the traditions most important to you on December 25th? Do you think I should maybe make more fuss over the ‘first Christmas?’ After all… they won’t have another ‘first,’ right?

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About Ileandra Young

I'm a thirty-*mumbles* year old (purple loving, cheese worshipping) author of fantasy, juggling a pair of beautiful twin boys with my burning desire to make up stories and write them all down. When I get the chance, I play games, listen to music, and in days long past I even ran a radio show. Though I occasionally write non-fiction, my heart lives in fantasy and my debut novel, Silk Over Razor Blades is now available through Amazon along with part two of the trilogy, Walking The Razor's Edge.
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11 Responses to I R Scrooge

  1. I think you have the right idea, Ileandra. It is not about presents. We do open our presents, but one at a time, so everyone gets to see what everyone else gets. But it is more about giving. We make presents for other people–crafting jewelry for Grandma, packets of homemade cards for people who will be needing them to write thank you notes, cookies and fudge for the neighbors, we decorate ties for Dad which he proudly wears to work. My favorite present to receive each year is a collection of poetry from my daughter. She writes poetry over the year and compiles it into illustrated books. She makes one for me, my husband, and her Grandma–all different, and we trade them around so we can read them all.

    Then we go for a walk, play games, and usually on Christmas Eve we all sing Christmas Carols. I think you are doing your boys a favor by not making it all about stuff.

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  2. Sally says:

    I love all the presents and everything, but Christmas for me is not about ‘stuff’. It’s about magic. It doesn’t matter to me what’s in the parcels (although it’s nice to have a few things that keep us occupied during the cold, dark winter months), but the fact that the parcels are brought by Father Christmas. I think a bit of magic makes a child’s life exciting, and a chat with some of my Brownies at the weekend just reinforced this for me. Whether they’re young enough to believe, or old enough to understand how important it is not to shatter the dreams of the younger ones, they all revel in the magic and the idea that the impossible can be possible if we believe it.

    If you’re introducing Christmas to your boys, think carefully before you decide to eliminate the magic element in an effort to eliminate the commercialism. You don’t have to go commercial to give them a few small items in a stocking brought by Father Christmas while they’re sleeping. A new pair of socks or a satsuma goes a long way to keeping the magic alive.

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    • I love that. And yes, magic is a big deal for kids. Part of me doesn’t want to build them up to something that isn’t real for them to be disappointed later, but the rest of me feels it’s really important for a child to believe. Santa… Tooth Fairy… Easter Bunny… just a couple of the things that every child should be allowed to believe in before they’re forced to grow up.

      I think it’s easily possible to balance magic against avoiding commercialism. Dave and I are creative people, should be easy. And, frankly put, if his other kids are anything to go by, I have absolutely nothing to worry about. All of them are marvellous, intelligent, well adjusted people, with a clear and obvious sense of right/wrong, the worth of a day’s work and/or the value of money.

      I have been a bit hasty in poo-pooing stockings and advent calendars and presents, etc… but so long as me and Dave are on the same page, I think we’ll do all right. Besides, if Santa is about filling stockings, it’s a great excuse to put out mince pies for him… which I will then eat! :p

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  3. Keep sniffing and poking at the commercialism, Ileandra. It’s not Scroogey, it’s remembering the true spirit of the holiday. And good for you.

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  4. 4amWriter says:

    I agree with you, and with kids aged 9 and 7, it is increasingly difficult to keep the true spirit of Christmas at the forefront. I am sickened when I see Christmas stuff for sale in stores before we even have Halloween.

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