I’m realizing that I’m beginning to stress about the holidays. Wishlists and the abundance of “celebrations” are a big source of stress for me this year. I now have two children, 4 nieces and nephews, and a husband who need nothing. But, there’s some kind of guilt if I tell myself nothing is perfectly suitable. We give all through the year. As a family, and individually, we do things all year. We’re not neglected. And, we begin adding things to wishlists … mostly in hopes of not getting junk we really don’t want. So we end up with some stuff that at least we’re mildly happy with.
The number of Christmas gifting festivities is more than I can handle. And there’s always way too many gifts. The whole season has become overwhelming. So, I wrote Santa a note to explain why I need just one gift from him this year.
A Mom’s Open Letter to Santa for Christmas 2016
As Christmas approaches, I’m feeling particularly needy. Sadly, as I make sure my Amazon wishlist is updated, I find more and more I want to add to my list. Then, I struggle with not impulsively just buying that which I have wished for. Mostly, it’s because I put things on my list that I really want, and I never get around to getting because “someone else will get it” or “I don’t want to spend the money right now.” Looking at my list, I remember the projects I’ve wanted to tackle, how much I wanted to organize something, or how much I really needed something to make cooking or housework a little less tedious.
I’ve watched my husband add to his list and then purchase some of the items himself. I know that’s who he is, but it makes it hard for me (or anyone else) to buy him anything. I sway between wanting to tell him he’s bought his own presents from me, and then feel guilty and want to get him something else. But what the actual eff can I get the man who has everything?
My kids need nothing. I spent weeks racking my brain over what to get my daughter who has everything a 5-year-old could ask for. To make my point, handing her a Toys R Us book was pointless. She picked out THREE items. One she was too old for, one she was too young for, and another she basically already had. While I was happy she didn’t pick the entire book of toys, it left me with no better ideas that I started with. NOTHING.
My son gets to use a lot of the toys my daughter had as a baby. Thankfully, we didn’t go all out on pink toys and tons of baby dolls (because she didn’t play with that stuff anyway). I’ve seen a few things that I like for him, but he doesn’t need anything either. To make matters worse, his birthday is just a few weeks before Christmas.
Though I purchased a few items from our non-toy gift ideas list, we finally decided it was time to replace the old swing set in the backyard. It’s been falling apart and in need of repair. Instead, we decided a replacement with a more fun system was at least something that we could give them. But, it was significantly more than I would have liked to have spent for Christmas. But, I keep telling myself that it’s an appropriate purchase that will get plenty of use over the next few years. It’s totally worth it … right?
Of course, there are the family Christmas celebrations. Too. God. Damned. Many. I can already tell there will be at least 4. AT LEAST. And I’m dreading it.
There’s my immediate family. The one and only that I am really excited about. Giving my children their gifts in the peace and comfort of my own home.
My Grandparents are hosting one. This isn’t particularly stressful as this will include mostly older adults, few kids, and will be fairly laid back. As much as it can be as a parent with two kids. And, there won’t be so many gifts that the car is loaded to the brim.
Then there will probably be one with my husband’s siblings and mom. There are six kids in all (2 of them are mine), and they’re freaking wild. Most times, all the kids dig into their presents at once and you can’t make any sense of what’s going on. I’ll be lucky if I get to see any one of the kids open their presents and see their faces of joy, disappointment, or indifference as they rush to tear open the next package. We’ll be lucky if we can fit all the presents in the trunk of my SUV. And I’m probably going to wish I’d put a roof rack and storage thing on my Amazon wish list. I wish I was joking.
We’ll be spending another segment of time with my husband’s siblings again when his Dad comes into town. And … just copy and paste what I said in the paragraph above.
When you visit our house on Christmas Eve, please be sure to bring mommy a bottle of wine. Or TEN. If I can’t drink during the celebrations, I’m going to need to drink away the stress after the kids go to bed.
In the meantime, I’ll make my New Year’s resolutions and prepare myself to find some peace, work on my poor need to collect more shit, and hopefully pencil in some time to donate all the other shit that doesn’t get played with. And if things don’t go well, at least the wine will temporarily make me feel better at failing on my resolutions.
Stressed out mom and wife