Thursday, December 5, 2013

It's still in OUR hands...

It's only December 5th, but I have already heard from many people the annual bah humbugging, the Bill Murray Scrooged (one of my most favorite movies ever btw), the boo on Christmas, the "I hate Christmas because it's ... commercial, fake, Christ-centered, not-Christ-centered-enough, overly happy, depressing, encroaches on Thanksgiving, sparkly, not sparkly enough, " etc., etc., etc.
I myself have had, in years past, Christmas seasons where I wasn't exactly tilting my wassail cup with joy so I can't begrudge anyone their feelings, but times change and circumstances change and there's not anything that I wouldn't give out of heart, soul and pocket to be here for the next 20 Christmases with my children. So color me overly romantic about the holiday, and I will gladly concur with my donning of red and green-glitter colored glasses. But one thing that sticks in my craw about some of the complaints is this fact - we are still in charge of our households, and to a certain degree, what enters them. So while complaints about decorations going up before Thanksgiving (personally I LIKE going to the mall and seeing lights all over the place - just seeing them makes an unrestrained smile break out on my face. I unabashedly love twinkle lights, I think they should be used in more household decor) may be justifiable to some, the argument of "Christmas is so commercialized therefore I hate it" doesn't hold water for fact I see it as a blatant cop-out.

 I get that I can't control what Jack hears at school or what he learns from his classmates about gifts and what to ask Santa for at Christmas. But I CAN control what enters my home and how I choose to have my family interact with it. Believe me, I get that Jack is three and the baby is 1 - but that's my point - this is the time for my husband and I to try to instill in them what we believe Christmas to be about, and on a larger scale, what we want our family to be about. I'm not making a judgment here - if a family wants to focus on gift giving at Christmas, more power and the Toys R Us catalog to them. But if you are just going to toss your hands up in the air and say "Oh well, Christmas is screwed because it's all commercialized anyway" then I have to call bullshit on that. I say that's teaching your kids that when you don't like something, when you don't agree with how things are run, then you just sit back and complain about it. When did we all cede control of one of our greatest gifts - our family - to some vague corporate overtaking?  It takes some work, but doesn't all of this crazy parenting fiasco we are entrusted with?  Sit down with your kids and a nativity scene and explain it to them, read books, sing carols, visit people, do some of the 8,000 things you have pinned, establish gift giving rules from early on and be firm - this is your family, not your parents, your in-laws, aunts, uncles or cousins. Let's pull up our big girl holly-covered panties whether it's with an overflowing-make-no-excuses-huge-pile-of-presents or whether it's with a tote bag-full but let's own our choices. Our families are still our responsibility, no one else's, and that includes how we choose to celebrate or not.

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