Monday, November 26, 2012


I’m just going to say it…I am NOT a Christmas person.  I never really have been, even as a kid I didn’t get all excited to decorate and the Santa at the mall always gave me the creeps.  It certainly didn’t help that my first 20 were with a highly dysfunctional family or that my birthday is the day before Christmas.

Because of my birthday being so close to Christmas, I’ve only had 3 actual birthday celebrations, my first, my 8th and my 16th.  My mom’s side of the family always did their Christmas gathering the 24th, so my birthday was pretty much ignored.  The holidays were pretty much comprised of family arguments, and my mom crying.  The result of this is while I don’t go all Bah Humbug, I can’t get myself to be excited or jolly at this time of year.

Since moving closer to my family, who are all very pro-holidays, I make an effort.  I respect the fact that as much I really don’t care, other people do.  I have even gone so far as to play Santa for the kids.  My BF, well, he is pretty much the same as me, his birthday being less than a week before mine.  If it were up to us, there would be no decorations, no obligations, just time to relax. 

Last year, things were easier; we didn’t live together, so other than being present, nothing else was really required on my part.  This year we had a dilemma, do we go balls out and fake it for the kids, or do we keep it minimal and risk the kids’ disappointment.

We gave it a lot of thought, and decided that faking it would send them two wrong messages.  The first would immediately reinforce the message that Christmas is about stuff and decorations, neither of which is in our values.  We are pretty minimalist, and try to focus on people and experiences rather than stuff.  The second message would be later in life when they are old enough to realize we were faking and that would send the message that you need to conform to what society expects, again, not in our values.

So I made a small tree out of tinsel that we will use to put the gifts under, and they have made some decorations that we will put up, and we will do to all of our Christmas parties where I’m sure everything will be Christmassy and merry.  We are letting other people buy them the big consumer items they want, we are sticking to smaller, more educational or useful items.  At home it will be minimal and all about the people and time spent together.  They may find the difference between our house and their mom’s to be huge at first, but in the long term I think they will appreciate the honesty and the traditions we will start together.  At least we hope so.

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