Phew!! christmas was wonderful. Of course, Christmas is always a special time for giving and receiving.....it's just that now that our kids are older, we can only hope that this year's surprises will delight our teenage recipients. Some moments of the pre-Christmas frenzy are a relief....our kids are more clear on their desperate need to have their own laptop or a trip to Disney....apparently, our children are the only children in America who don't have their own laptop.....and the only deprived children in America who have not been to Disney World. For the first time ever, I am grateful that our children no longer believe in Santa....so their dreams are a little bit more realistic.....they know they can ask and hope for the best....i mean, why not give it your best shot?
Our kids are really good kids who dream big. I say why not....since they've been born, the world has been on a technological rush.....while waiting for me to go into labor, my husband carried a beeper! That was the extent of our techno world.....a beeper , a house phone and a giant 300 pound gorilla of a computer, which, we were so grateful to receive as a hand me down. When we were starting out, we were more concerned with the babies comforts than my computer literacy. My husband had a computer for business....it seemed to be somewhat extravagant for us to buy a computer when we hadn't even bought a new sofa yet. Priorities.........that's how we've looked at things since we have been together and thankfully, I notice our kids are catching on!
They see so much out there. Their friends, stores, television ads, magazines and general hype create the “need” for all of us. Ever since my niece turned us on to the show “hoarders”, I realize the excess that we have.....stuff that mattered at one time, that is tossed aside today. It's been very interesting to look differently at wants and needs, even as the economic downturn has affected so many.....once again, I site my trickle down theory. Of course, the change in economy affects all of us.
I think, for us, it is a great time to teach our kids about how hard people work for what they have.....we certainly have done our best to show them in our family and our world that we live in......they are beginning to catch on..... I admit, I'm not one to be chicken little, running around, saying the sky is falling......i do want our children to be aware that life is not just about stuff! We all love stuff....we also have to learn to value the stuff we have, think of what stuff other people need, truly need, that we take for granted. I think we have worked at trying to give our kids an understanding of priorities.
So, this Christmas season, we had a lot of discussions about wants and needs, realistic and ridiculous. Christmas isn't supposed to be the lottery! It has gotten way out of control for many. I'm relieved to have this economy to help us get real about my own needs and wants.
Really, after having a few years of loss....loss of special, loving family members.....there is no stuff worthy of replacing them. And not enough stuff in the world to give me more than the beautiful memories.......because it's just stuff!
I have always been the sentimental girl. I love and treasure some of the jewelry and photos of family from long ago, but as I get older, I notice that if I'm not selective about what stuff to keep and what stuff to let go of, it all becomes a pile of junk......just a bunch of stuff that is too big too mean anything but a headache, for me...the sentimental one.
I realize that I have to help our kids to realize what really matters to them......and that's a hard concept at any age. Somehow, I'm finally catching on......it started a few years ago, for me. I realized that I would only buy clothes if they were colors and fabrics that I love.......that eliminated about 90% of stuff I like in stores. It really didn't help that I grew up with a mom working at saks fifth avenue and that I followed in her footsteps! Clothing, clothing everywhere......the next new thing that arrived with each seasons delivery became the next need......it wasn't ever about wanting and since that was our work....my mom and I justified every purchase. I was in a store when I began labor with my first child......only the beginning of labor, but if it had been up to my mom, I would have had my first baby there....but that's another story!
So, we concentrated this year on quality versus quantity and of course, had some fun stuff for our kids as well. They had a great Christmas...we did too....they were happy to give and happy to get. Everyone loved quality and the quantity didn't matter. We all had time to enjoy our family, our gifts....we took our dogs for a splendid walk on the beach, with snow.....we had a white Christmas.....and a fire in the fireplace.....some Christmas music and some Chinese food! Even though we have 2 ovens in the kitchen, neither one worked!
For the second year in a row, we have received a bonus Christmas present. Our friends invited us to ski with them in New Hampshire! Not only are we thrilled for the invite for the day after christmas, but we are excited to have more memories created....they last forever......and that's the best gift!
We're here in New Hampshire! We had a fun ride up here and we're with our friends.....I have my new laptop! It might rain tomorrow and we don't care cuz (sorry.....I'm not a gangster......should say because!) we're with our friends, who we treasure way more than any of the gifts we received!
We also have Christmas gifts to share with our friends....and we always have lots of laughs over those....I'll have to report on this giving and receiving fun for all!
and, on a technological note, my camera broke tonight.....even Steven,....i got my new laptop.....but I broke my camera....photos will follow sometime!