Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Wrapped Up

I finished my Christmas shopping this past weekend. Thank the Heavens. You know, I used to complete my shopping for Christmas before Thanksgiving, for the simple fact that I hate going out in that mess. But having a little one seems to have us on perpetual delay. Next year though, I'll try to return to that pipedream plan.

I got one of two remaining Knows Your Name Elmos left at the store. I was pretty excited. Not just because it's one of the "hot" toys this year, but because Incrediboy loves Elmo SO much - I thought he'd get jazzed out of his socks if Elmo addressed him by name! I called the Hub and asked his opinion and he said I should get it, as the boy would no doubt adore it.

On the way home I started thinking about it. It wasn't a cheap toy. He'll be getting plenty of other presents. And Incrediboy already has a big floppy Elmo that he loves and doesn't let out of his sight. Does he really need this fancy one that isn't near as cuddly and will probably break anyway?

I told the Hub when I got home I was having second thoughts about Knows Your Name Elmo. I told him my reasoning and he agreed. I returned Knows Your Name Elmo tonight. I felt eyes upon me as I stood at the service desk and explained nothing was wrong with the toy, we merely decided we didn't want it after all. I had the peculiar feeling of being cased by a pack of hyena. As I walked away with refund in hand, I felt the desperate eyes shift from me, remaining on the newly returned Elmo. I'm sure he's already found a good home.

I felt kind of empowered. I had ultimately avoided being sucked into the hype.

For now anyway.

I can tell already it won't get any easier, especially as he gets older. He's our only boy and we'll be very drawn to giving him the world. And I'm sure we will do what we can to fulfill reasonable special requests from future Christmas lists. But we want to teach him that Christmas isn't all about things. We want him to remember the love of family and the love of a Savior. And to be grateful, always grateful.We will teach him these things, and we will live them.

Between you and me though, I'm very excited about gifting this year. I mean crazy-excited. I can't wait to see and share the joy of a small child on Christmas morning. I can't wait to vicariously feel the adrenaline from the magical spell of a child's Christmas, to see the wonder of the holiday through him.

And it's nothing to do with materialism.


Nicole said...

It's a funny line we walk as parents. We want to teach our children that this isn't a holiday about material things...it's about giving, sharing, family, & Christ. But then it's soo much fun to see their little faces light up with joy at each new package...it makes you want 'just one more thing' to make it last.

No, it has nothing to do with materialism & everything to do with love.

Merry Christmas to you & yours!

Nelly said...

It is hard to not get sucked into the hype of the media and certain toys. We have 8-10 gifts for both my kids and I tried to keep it pretty even. My little girl is only 21 months, so she is pretty easy and cheap to please. I think the most I spent on her was for a Dora tricycle. I can't wait to see hers and my son's face (he just turned 6) on Christmas morning!

Twisted Cinderella said...

It is so hard to decide on the right gifts to get for our kids. I have similar problems with my Little Princess Belle, especially since this year there was a strict budget.

Christmas is so much fun with a child in the house!

Martie said...

I know exactly the "Christmas magic" you are referring to when you write about it. I always felt that way too. However, my children are all grown and married with children of their own. They all come home on Christmas Day in the afternoon, but it isn't the same as having a wee, small child wake up in your home with wide eyed excitement over seeing what Santa left for them under the tree! I will always miss that part!

Michelle said...

With the older kids getting older, I'm glad that Drew will soon take over the excitment that has faded in the big kids. Not that they don't love Christmas, it's just different seeing the joy and anticipation through a young child's eyes.

*** said...

I used to be one of those people who was done shopping too around Thanksgiving time, but it's getting harder to buy for my son. At eight, he's not really a action figure kind of kid, but not preteen either. Ugh, luckily I made all my decisions and based on his reaction this year, will have a better idea on what comes next year.

Smerdyakov said...

The exact same thing happened to me. There was a toy I really really wanted and my parents fought the crowds to get it for me. But, like you, they had seconds thoughts and took it back before giving it to me.
Christmas morning rolls around and I scurry downstairs to open my presents. When I found out I didn't get what I wanted, I got so upset that I went out and strangled a hobo.

Just kidding. You did the right thing. It would have driven you crazy after a week anyhow. A few years from now he won't even remember what he got but he'll still have that mysteriously vague recollection of peace and togetherness.

Cheryl said...

Woohoo! Good for you, on all counts. And I understand the draw to giving the world. My boy is 6. I don't go over the top at Christmas with expensive or "the hot" things, but always get him something I know he'll enjoy. And you know what, he's thrilled in the end, just like I always was as a child. You're going to have a wonderful Christmas together!

Lori said...

Enjoy your little guy during these magical years. Christmas is always wonderful, but certainly different as kids get older. I'm fortunate that my kiddos, though teenagers, are still easy to buy for and very good about their "wishlist".

And...good for you...for not giving in to the "hot item" of the year. Sometimes I wonder if some of those parents are buying it more for them than for the child. It's so good to see that you known what it's truly all about (though I never had any doubts!)

Bougie Black Boy said...

WHAT? ? ? you're still shopping? I agree with you--you've normally started in August! lol

Bainwen Gilrana said...

What a challenge it must be to try to avoid the "hot toy" rush. Not so much for a little guy like Incrediboy, of course, but for the ones a little older who can ask, "Buy me that?"

But it is definitely a worthy goal. :-)