Perhaps It’s Alright If Christmas (Kind of) Comes From a Store

Up to my eyeballs in Christmas at this moment, and I’ve got some super well-timed upper respiratory shit going on, so I thought I would check in while I wait for my Christmas cookies to cool enough to sprinkle them with a big, fat Xanax. This is the first Christmas August really knows what is going on, so I’m getting crazy excited and also poor.

We have spent small chunks of the past few years trying to pare down the stuff that we own. There was a huge purge a few summers ago that has been followed by small ones. I usually decide to clean an area and then decide I hate everything I ever decorated it with, and call Purple Heart to come pick up my shitty choices. And quarterly, I go through toys and kid stuff to bring whatever never got much use or what was straight up annoying as crap to a big consignment sale. We are trying to get as close to minimalism as we can without becoming insufferable dorks who can’t stop talking about minimalism.

When I started planning out Christmas shopping for this year, I toyed with the idea of getting August four things. I have seen more and more people switching to the something you want, something you need, something to wear, something to read method of gift-giving. It’s appealing from a Less Crap standpoint. And it’s appealing from a Less Crap I Have to Remember I Bought and Then Hid standpoint. And it gave me good feels about teaching our kids to not only care about the toys they get and to instead care about time with family and the spirit of giving and the reason for the season and all that jazz.


But then I remembered Christmas mornings when I was a kid. Waking up at an ungodly hour to piss off my mom and then dragging the whole family downstairs and holy shit, look at that. I loved spending time with my family on Christmas. I loved decorating. I loved baking with my grandmother. I loved watching Christmas specials on TV with my sisters. I loved singing along to Christmas songs in the car with my mom. I loved buying really shitty presents with my own money for everyone in my family. And I managed to do all of that while still really, really, REALLY loving getting a bunch of crap. Toys, man. Toooooooys. That was the big-ass cherry on my month of falalalala-ing.


Christmas may be too commercial. It may be dumb to buy our kids a bunch of junk made in China. August will probably not care about Paw Patrol in a year or two, and I will end up consigning or passing on a chunk of what he is going to open Christmas morning. But he’s going to have that same thrill and sense of wonder when he comes down the stairs at 5am (Christ, I better be exaggerating that bit but I doubt it) that I remember having as a kid. Christmas and birthdays are when I like to spoil our kids, because we don’t buy them toys outside of those two days for the rest of the year. And I’m not talking about some mile-high mountain of presents. But to come downstairs on Christmas morning and see four presents, and one of them is socks?


When our kids are older and presents shift from $12 action figures to hopes for electronics and really stupid looking clothes, I will revisit the four presents idea, because it will probably suit us better then. But this year? I’m pumped for toys and crap and an amazed three-year old peeing his pants with joy all over my hardwood floors.


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