*thought I posted this yesterday… guess not*
One of the major reasons I generally prefer the idea of Thanksgiving to the idea of Christmas is dodging the pressure of gift-giving. I come from a large family and growing up, everyone exchanged gifts with everyone. Over time, as family members have passed away and life circumstances have changed, that number has dwindled, but I still struggle with gift-buying, especially when I don’t know someone that well or they seem to have everything they would ever want or need.
In our little house, C and I have birthdays in November and December and then Christmas, which makes the whole holiday season extra interesting. After a few Christmases of big ticket items, we have started to set limits on purchases. We try to be equitable and impressive and C is out shopping now because she has six presents under the tree from me and I apparently would have had fewer from her (I tried to convince her otherwise but she’s a hard head like that… and I admitted that I might have gone a bit over our limit!). To be fair, though, we do save throughout the year and don’t buy a lot for ourselves (and we have to wait all year for a birthdayChristmasclumpofpresents) so I think we get a little excited when the holidays come and we have an excuse to spend money on each other.
We haven’t quite decided what our parenting philosophy will be regarding gifts, though we have talked about the importance of celebrating the holiday and togetherness over getting lots of stuff. We also have already gotten some small pregnancy gifts in the four weeks we’ve known about the pregnancy, so we don’t doubt that this child (the first grandchild and great grandchild on C’s side and a much wanted grandchild on my side) will not want for much. If that does turn out to be the case, I think our home gift-giving will be even more conservative, partly because neither of us believe a child needs ten million gifts and partly because where-do-you-store-all-of-that!?
I do wish that the spirit of gifts was more appreciated in our world at large and that there was less pressure to give “as much” as someone else and more acceptance of gifts in whatever form they happen to come.