Anyone ever wonder why it is that when the holidays roll around, we all seem to go out of our minds trying to make the holidays "perfect"? We need to get Junior the newest video game. We check the "Hot Holiday Top 10 Toys" to make sure we're not missing anything. The holidays are nothing more than the ultimate "keeping up with the Jones's".
I actually met someone a few years ago that purchased the Tickle Me Elmo doll that at the time was THE must have toy that holiday season. Problem? This person didn't have any kids and had no family members to give it to. Only when I asked them who was going to get it did they admit to me that they didn't know. I advised them to donate it to Toys For Tots. The point was that they only purchased that toy because it was a "must have". I suggested rehab, to no avail.
It's gotten worse this holiday season. "Pre-Black Friday" sales and "Black Friday BEFORE Black Friday" sales hit us this year. "Cyber Monday" was no better. My e-mail inbox was stuffed with offers from free shipping to 70% off everything. Sad.
I'm going to take a moment to tell you something. Don't put so much into Christmas that you lose the real meaning of Christmas. The economy has made it hard for a lot families to provide the kind of Christmas they'd like. As someone that is currently unemployed, I certainly can understand that. However, I've always made it a point to tell my children that Christmas has a MUCH bigger meaning than presents under a tree, even in years that I could get them whatever they want.
If you've ever listened to any number of my radio programs the last few years, you know I like to use the term "family" a lot. It's because I was always told that family is what's most important about the holidays. So I don't use the word "family" lightly. The holidays are a time for us to appreciate the people who love us and who we love.
Now...that being said, I have secured presents for my Wife and children this year. Tons of stuff? Nope. Can't afford tons. Very expensive stuff? Nope. Not the point.
My message is simple. When the presents get unwrapped...when you've taken the videos of those big smiles...when you've thrown away the wrapping paper...when your kids are playing with their toys and are in another room...don't worry about whether they like their presents. Look at your watch. It's 10am...and all of that crap you went through is over. Are you happy? If your child complained about what they didn't get, then maybe you should re-evaluate how YOU handle the holiday season.
Look, we all want to give our children everything they want for Christmas. And if you are able to do so, then good for you. I'm just saying that if you are unable to give your family the "Jones's" Christmas, don't be hard on yourself. Times are tough right now. Give your family the best Christmas that you can. Frankly, if that Christmas means sitting with family at the dinner table enjoying a meal together, then consider that a blessing. Everyone deserves a gift at Christmas time. My kids get toys and electronics, etc. I only ask that we share a big meal together so we can talk, laugh and enjoy each other as a family.
Believe me...if your kids understand that family is what Christmas is really about, then they will understand that when they grow up and (hopefully not) have to deal with the realization of how society has taken what should be a very personal holiday and commercialized and marketed it, they will be better off for it.
Besides, realizing the realities of Christmas will help you spend less and help you pay those bills off sooner in January, because guess what? Your utility bills won't wait for you to pay off that PS3 you had to get for Susie! LOL! HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!