Parenting Gone Awry

Antique Scrooge

I have bought two books for my son for Christmas and that may be all he gets. I know what you’re thinking: First she leaves his monkey in Florida and now she’s going to Scrooge him on Christmas?! Yes I did and yes I am.

I am officially opting out of the rampant materialism that is our zip code. It already looks like the Fisher Price factory exploded in our den and ten more large plastic things will not a merry Christmas make. After you factor in the grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends, the fact that Sean is getting only two books from his parents is equivalent to trying to lighten a jet by withholding the pretzels. It won’t make that much difference.

I really was going to try to give my child the kind of Christmas that you see in the store ads where a beautiful family, all with perfect teeth and good hair, sit by a blazing fire in plaid pajamas surrounded by a mountain of gifts that look as though Martha Stewart personally wrapped each one. I was. I was going to do all that, but then I had a child and I quickly realized what a stupid idea that was! That was going to take waaay too much energy and I am just too tired for that much pretense! And there is no better time to ration energy and cut out pretense than at Christmas time. Actually the best time to do that is when you bring the baby home from the hospital.

Having said that, I’m like all the other parents out there who want to overcompensate for the inadequacies of their own childhoods by providing their kids with all the things they didn’t have growing up. Having Sean as late in life as I did means that money is no obstacle to buying him every toy on the market and honestly, it’s hard not to give in to that temptation. That would certainly salve my inner poor child, but it wouldn’t be good for him or my den. So I’m not going to do it.

That’s my excuse for getting out of Christmas shopping and I’m stickin’ to it.

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