Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Want, Need, Wear, Read

Jeff and I are at a crossroads where we need to set expectations for Christmas in our home. No thanks to the media, parents are under a lot of holiday pressure. Overpriced dolls and Elf on a Shelf are two common Christmas woes I hear from my friends who are parents. Kids see that Santa brought their friends expensive, name brand dolls, and they are forced to wonder what they did during the year that made Santa think they were unworthy of receiving extravagant gifts as well.

"Mommy, the Smiths have a magic elf at their house. Why don't we have a magic elf too?"
How is a parent even supposed to respond to that question?!

The hoopla makes me want to throw in the towel on this whole Christmas thing before it gets out of control, but that's not fair to Everett. Christmas is about appreciating what you have and giving to others, not about getting all the cheap toys you see on television commercials. I want to raise my son to be grateful for the things he receives, which is why we will only be giving him things we know he will love and appreciate, and that will not clutter up our lives (and his brain). What will be under our tree this year?

Want: Anything Thomas the Train will do! However, he received lots of Thomas paraphernalia for his birthday this year, so he will be getting the next best thing (from Grandma) - a Radio Flyer! He really is obsessed with wagons, and now he will have a vehicle to cart around all his trains.

Need: We picked up a Bob Stroller weather shield this weekend. This will *fingers crossed* allow us to continue our family walks in the winter. Since Everett refuses to wear a hat, the cold gets to him pretty quickly when there is not a barrier to block the chilly winds. We also lose a lot of blankets to kicking feet, so this will help with that little issue as well. The good news is Ev really likes his stroller. If he looks disappointed after opening this, we can tell him it's for the stroller and he will have a whole new appreciation for it.

Wear: I bought Everett two new pairs of Hanna Andersson pajamas for Christmas - this pair and this pair. Everett loves Hanna Andersson PJs because they do not lose their softness over time. We also gave him an early present of these socks. They go high up his calf, which makes it incredibly difficult for him to take them off, and they keep the feet and legs warm on chilly days. Like last year, he will also be receiving a pair of Padraig slippers. These shoes make the the perfect holiday gift for babies and toddlers. They are also available at Mother's Haven if you live in the Spokane/Coeur d' Alene area.

Read: Everett is obsessed with books. This classic winter story is perfect in board book form. Jan Brett has a collection of wonderful children's stories. Everett frequently falls asleep with one of her books in his crib.

Parents, I beg you! This holiday season, please be sensitive to other families who may not have the time or resources you do. Take a moment to teach your children about the true meaning of giving and receiving gifts. This Advent season is about the anticipation of Joy. Not the joy of receiving presents, but the Joy that comes when the blind see, the sick are healed, and the lame rise up and walk.

Happy Hanukkah.

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