|Not perfect, but keep in mind that this was the first time either of us had ever even touched fondant. |
|I seriously want one so very badly. Good thing my birthday is in March because my Christmas present was used up with a camera. Which I love.|
Growing up, Santa was EXTREMELY good to us. The presents always extended far out, half way across the living room. It was SO MUCH fun. I'll always have warm, fond memories of waking up on Christmas morning and seeing the room dimly lit by the tree and other decorations, and feeling the magic of Santa Clause even as an adult. Having younger brothers helped too. I'll always remember both of their excitement.. coming to frantically wake me up so I could see what Santa brought. We'd all sit down in the living room, my mom with her coffee, camera, and a huge grin on her face. My dad with his OJ, trash bag, and sweat pants telling us all to "relax". Ha! He loved it all just as much.. I think we were all just a little too hyper for him.. and I'm not sure why the sweat pants stick out so much.. but they really do. We'd open a present one by one, each taking turns and would stop half way through to refill drinks and maybe get a little something to much on. This was like a two hour affair.. at least. I loved it. I have such great memories of Christmas with my family.
Which makes my conflicting ideals that much more difficult. I'm struck with my strong dislike of the commercial side of the holiday this year more than any others. The constant countdown reminders of how many days you have left to shop. How Black Friday might as well have started on Thanksgiving itself. I'm seeing people break the bank.. literally.. trying to get gifts for everyone they feel obligated to buy for.
We're choosing not to do that this year and it's a great feeling. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE to give. It's one of the best feelings. But it becomes such a hassle around Christmas. I hate that gift giving is EXPECTED. I hope this isn't coming out wrong. I want to give.. within our means. And that's what we're doing this year. My side of the family usually gets a gift for everyone.. this year we're doing a $25 limit Chinese gift exchange. It's going to be a blast and we'll be able to just be. Together.
In our immediate family.. Trey, Drew and I.. I want to focus on the real meaning of Christmas in the years to come. I want to talk to our kids about Jesus' birth. To show them what it's really all about. To teach the importance of giving.. ironically. But giving to those that have less. We'll still have all of the fun decorations and Santa will be a part, but I don't know that we'll have presents filling up the living room on Christmas morning.
I saw this on Pinterest the other day.. which is what sparked all of this.
We, as a family, may not have excess.. we may not have the best of things.. we definitely don't keep up with The Joneses in other words.. but we have plenty. We have everything we need. We are warm, clothed (even if I do have to do laundry twice a week), and always have food on the table. Andrew is in no shortage of books or toys. We take all of this for granted and I want to teach him that others may not have ANY of this, and we can be in a position to help.. if we don't spend all of our money of gifts for him that he may WANT but not NEED.
I can't help but go back to my fond memories growing up though, and feel like he'd be missing out on that. It's a smaller part of me that thinks like this, but it's obviously enough to cause some conflict. When he's older.. but still young.. how would I deal with the whole, "but Johnny gets a ton of gifts from Santa.. am I not being a good enough boy?" type of thing.
I'm probably thinking way too much into this, but that's what I do. I have no idea how I'd answer that.
Anyways, that's where we are and we'll sort it all out. In the meantime, we are very much enjoying our lower-key Christmas this year. It's going to get busy soon with traveling and chaos, but right now, it's calm, beautiful, and peaceful. And Andrew almost has putting coins in the Salvation Army bucket down pat.