If, perhaps, I had unlimited time and my children had zero exposure not only to what other children have but all news media as well, I might have been able to pull it off. I throw pottery and I can knit. There you go: food and clothing, base level needs, what more could you want? Not to mention, I’ve read Little House on the Prairie. That little girl totally had a corn cob doll and my kids and I grew corn this year.
Unfortunately, though, my children are not being raised in a vacuum and something tells me my daughter would not be too happy about getting a corn cob instead of an American Girl Doll or a Twinn Doll which are both on her list (don't look at me, that's what grandmothers are for). Plus, I neither have the electrical skills nor the soldering gun that would allow me to make a Hex Bug, my elder son's Christmas wish obsession. The grown ups I might have been able to manage (pottery and extra large hats all around!) but there has just been no time.
The thing is, in an effort to make sure I could afford Christmas I loaded my schedule as heavily as I could with work hours. What should have been an obvious logistical flaw in this plan is that because I worked so much, not only did I not have time to make any gifts (but for a pair and a half of socks) which would have saved money and therefore precluded the need to work as many hours to pay for said gifts, there was also no time to enjoy the holiday season. I've managed to be present at a few holiday events but I've been so frazzled it has been difficult to enjoy them.
Basically, I've totally blown the Christmas season by trading it for money. And ugh does that feel bad. Honestly, how many times have I read/seen "How the Grinch Stole Christmas!" and I still don't get it? Am I mentally impaired?
All is well, though, because I'm shaking it off and pulling it together. Now, might I make a mad dash to Toys R Us because my mother bought my 2 year old son a ukulele which I had already bought and now I need something to replace it? Maybe. Ok, yes, I totally am.
But, the key to change is first recognizing you have a problem. So I am making a declaration right now that future Christmases will be different. With a little bit of time management, resource management, management of expectations, and proper planning in general I think I can figure out how to actually enjoy this holiday season from beginning to end. You know, starting next year.
In the meantime, nothing to do but finish up the ride on this Christmas crazy train and resolve not to climb aboard next year. Merry Christmas, y'all, and here's hoping you managed to get it right.