Friday, December 24, 2010

So excited for Christmas!

I think...I THINK I'm all done. I finished making all the gifts. I even got the sock monkey done! Which didn't take all that long, really. I thought it would be a harder project than it was. Anyway, we ordered a Car Seat Poncho for Charlie. We only tried it on Adrian so far since I didn't want Charlie to see her gift early! He's 45 1/2" and still just barely fits in a med/lg. They are marketed for up to 48 months so I'd say that's a good size! Adrian's firehouse came in the mail. That was a big splurge for me and probably the last one for a couple of years. I cannot WAIT to see his face this Christmas! Especially since I know I spoiled him this year and he'll be getting clothes and underwear for the next 2 Christmases (LOL, kidding....kind of).

Car Seat Poncho

Just a funny pic of Charlie's hair.

Sock Monkey!

Adrian's hot wheels play mat, outside...

And inside!

So I got a little peeved off the other day. I try not to let things like this get to me but I'm having trouble and I'm just going to get this off my chest here. I recently saw some posts on a message board by some people who were very judgmental about kids getting too many presents at Christmas. "No child needs 10 presents from their parents. That's ridiculous!" And then how kids are taught to only appreciate materialistic things, get spoiled, blah, blah, blah.

I'll be the first to admit both of my kids have more than 10 presents EACH under the tree. And you know what? I'm not ashamed. If you know me I'm ANTI-materialistic stuff. I don't like having tons of toys in my house and my kids don't own a gazillion outfits. We don't even have tv reception, let alone cable! I put a high value on making do with what you have, and using what you have to make what you need. When we moved, I purged a TON of unnecessary items from my house in preparation for the holidays. I gave it all away so someone else could use it. I prefer to buy second-hand and I swap things with friends. I try NOT to buy things from stores.

So why would a gaggle of women automatically assume lots of presents=a ton of store-bought, unnecessary, junky toys? I have no clue. Even if it did mean that, does it even REALLY matter? Toys are not what spoil a child. It's a certain type of parenting that spoils a child. Your child could have 4 toys in the whole house and be more spoiled than a child with a 20'x20' playroom filled wall to wall.

I don't buy much throughout the year. Even if it's necessary, I hem and haw, look for used or a good deal, and sometimes still put it off if it can be put off. But at Christmas, I like to give my kids everything I can. That includes homemade things, second-hand things, and *gasp* store-bought toys! It includes necessary things and unnecessary things. I want my kids to be excited for a few weeks out of the year about getting things they don't normally get.

This year I saw a good deal on Disney personalized blankets online. I snatched up two of them. Adrian definitely needed a blanket anyway. Charlie has a ton, but she's actually getting too long for a lot of her baby blankets. They are just ADORABLE blankets! And even though they are a "need" and not a "want", they are fun and special enough to be wrapped and put under the tree. Same with the winter hats I made them, and the slippers I made for Charlie.

Four of the toys are hand-made and beautiful (not to toot my own horn). One gift (the car seat poncho) supports a small business and is proudly made in the USA.

The store-bought firehouse...well, Adrian has this amazing imagination. All of his friends are getting obsessed with video games, but his little head is still filled with stories of his own creation. I want to drag that out for another year or two. The firehouse is versatile and very much like a dollhouse, with the beds, kitchen, bathroom, ect. The store-bought 53" plush caterpillar I didn't intend to buy. I went to the Dollar General to get a $1 bag of marbles for the Goodwill marble run I found for Adrian. I walked out with that AND the caterpillar. I saw that and thought "What a great positioning device for Charlie!" Heh, therapy toys.

The firehouse:

I get being irritated with how materialistic this country has become. It's annoying to hear kids screaming in every store for some stupid princess doll or whining about not getting the latest video game. I get downright pissed off when I hear someone complaining about the cost of groceries and feed their kid nothing but mac'n'cheese and hot dogs when they regularly splurge on expensive shoes and techy gadgets. All of this is VERY annoying. But don't ASSume that this is the case for everyone.

Perhaps you overhear a mom talking about the disney vacation she splurged on for her kid's birthday. Maybe you would think "Wow, that kid must be really spoiled! I'd never spend that much on MY kid's birthday!" You don't know their situation. Maybe her kid was diagnosed with a terminal disease and she spent his college savings to take him. Or maybe you overhear a mom like me talking about about how her 3ft tall tree was drowning in gifts this year. My post explains that one. If you've read my blog a long time, you'd know that last year I made all their gifts but was also sponsored by palliative care. The year before that I spent $25 total. And that included my dinky little 3 ft tree. Another person might have fallen on hard times and suddenly gotten a $1000 check from a generous relative and was finally, FINALLY able to buy their kid clothes, shoes, and toys with which he'd gone without for the last 6 months, along with paying off her gas bill, so it doesn't get shut off. Another parent might have bought their 5 year old an Ipad (crazy, right?), and what you didn't hear is that the child has autism and is non-verbal and they intend to use it as a communication device. You just never know.

So anyway, that's my rant. I honestly feel embarrassed for people who say these things out loud. Or type them out where they are etched into cyberspace forever. They don't know what other people's kids need. I'd venture a guess and say none of them have a child like Charlie, who's health is rocky even on a good day, cannot run and play or enjoy life in the same way as other kids. Or they have never had to sacrifice time with their older child to take proper care of the sick child! Adrian has it rough too. Of COURSE I "spoil" my kids! It's my right as a mother! LOL

But in the end I do feel like I'm teaching them all the right things about consumerism, needs vs wants, and how to be a giving person. Charlie helped me make handprint molds and Adrian very carefully chose 2 inexpensive gifts for his dad and grandma. Store-bought, yes, but special nonetheless.


bettyann said...

rant on! :)

couldn't have said it better.

sarah said...

I agree with Bettyann, RANT ON ! :)

I fully support you making your kids as many gifts as you want every year! When they get a little older, I bet their friends will be jealous of all the awesome things you have made for them.

ady said...

Nice post - it's good to be reminded not to be judgemental. I know I have to rely on people not judging me, and try to do the same likewise. Honestly, though - you are the last person I would think of when I thought "kid spoiler"! You are always amazing with your hand-made, loving gifts. I still have the stuff my mom made me - those are treasures for a lifetime. And of course kids deserve a toy from the store now and then too (especially ours, IMO!) I agree though - the other day I heard someone getting all irritated about how they saw someone 'foolishly' buying a ton of pictures at a portrait place and putting it all on credit. That really upset me, because I thought "how do you know their kid doesn't have cancer or something, or that this may be their last time to get pictures together?!" Being judgemental usually bites you in the end. It's something everyone has to constantly work on, so thanks for the reminder!! :)