‘Tis the Season for fa la la la la and little boys who want, want, want! They love the Holidays my boys. The cookie making, gift wrapping, list creating, Santa meet-ups, tree trimming and never-ending holiday tunes. They truly do get into the Christmas spirit. Yet, just the other night I asked my five-year old if he knows the real meaning of Christmas. His reply, “Uh, mommy, of course I do! It is about being good from right now until Christmas morning so you get ALL the gifts YOU WANT!”
Really? Where have I gone wrong? I was so ready to put his day clothes back on and haul his little a$$ to a soup kitchen. But then I can’t really be all that upset. I also cannot be the only one to blame.
First of all, the Holidays have become so commercialized. I mean the Holiday decor, cards, gift wish lists and pre-lit Christmas trees hit the aisles of the big box stores as soon as the last firework explodes in the July sky. The local radio stations start playing Holiday tunes the minute the clock strikes midnight on Halloween. In fact, the BIG BOOK OF TOYS gets mailed in November to every home the US census has recorded a child, the presence of one or even ones in utero for that matter like AARP solicits the 60 an over crowd.
It is ridiculous really. So, I am not all that surprised that my little boys are all about I, me, and mine. Can they really help what they hear and see on TV, in the stores and all around town? They cannot. Little beings are like sponges. They soak it all up and you media hype marketing people play them like it’s nobody’s business. The insanity will never stop though will it?
So, parents, it is our job to teach our younglings the real meaning of the Holidays. Perhaps 2, 5 and 9 are not the appropriate ages for them to ring the Salvation Army bell or scoop out soup in a homeless shelter but they are never too young to learn what it really is all about.
This year I vow to not get caught up in all the commercial hype. My boys will not be riding on the “Polar Express” to the “North Pole” this year. Yet, I will take them down to the train station and educate them on how the rail lines once fueled our country. They will not sit on Santa’s lap this year, all three of them, competing for his attention like they did last year. As my then four-year old said to the jolly old saint, “Look at me Santa, I am right here. Me, just me, only listen to me and what I WANT!” How embarrassing. Not funny people. Actually it was pathetic. Even you Santa were laughing. Shame!
They can sit on Santa’s lap and tell him all they are thankful for. They can tell Santa how mommy spent 8 hours one hot summer day piling up their toys to donate because they have way too much. Eight hours and 500 toys later my life became so much easier and my home so much lighter. The funny thing is, they haven’t missed one of those toys now gracing the shelves at Goodwill and daycare facilities around town. Not once have they asked for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle figurines or Toy Story remote control car. Not once have they came to me crying because they miss recycled plastic Yoda, Shrek, Chewbacca or Diego.
What my boys really want is me. My time and love and support. They want me to sit on the floor and play blocks and puzzles with them. They want to bake pies and cookies and have me allow them to stir the ingredients and lick the batter. They want me to run in the rain, through the sprinkler and jump in the pool with them. They want me to volunteer at recess, be the mystery reader for their class and help out during after school events. They want me on the sidelines when they get the football, shoot hoops and crack the bat.
Parents, our children don’t need a ton of toys, electronics or a new car to make them happy. They need our love! Deep down inside they want our undivided attention more than anything. I know these things now. I know it because my children ask me:
See folks, children need so much more than they articulate on a wish list to Santa. Of course, they are kids and kids should be kids. Of course they will naturally want toys and electronics or a new set of wheels.
But when they are young adults, grown adults with children of their own or seniors, they will not remember the year Santa brought them a Deluxe Heavy Duty Super Duper Red Ryder Beebe Gun unless they actually shoot their eye out.
They will remember the year mommy fell on the Christmas tree trying to hang the lights and how they laughed so hard they peed their pants. They will remember the traditions, tree trimming and gingerbread house making. They will remember making gifts from their own bare hands to share with family and friends. They will know the real meaning of Christmas. They will, I just know it!
Happy Holidays and may you always stay true to the real importance of the season.