Thursday, November 20, 2008

'Tis the Season

In case you've been living under a rock, we're coming upon the craziest, best time of the year~the holidays. I will have 11 people (NOT including my immediate family of 6) here on Thursday for Thanksgiving. We used to travel, but when I was pregnant with the twins and as big as a house at 7 months, I said no frickin' way am I leaving my house, so now we have everyone here. No really, check me out! While it's insane getting ready, it really is so much nicer to allow my kids to play with their own toys, nap in their own beds, and generally be more comfortable. It also takes my stress level down to Mach 496. How nice.

Christmas takes my stress level up to Mach 9809838 though. Here's why. When I had one child, I pretty much got every gift I could think of that said child would want/need/had to have. Ok, not that bad, but the presents under the tree were pretty substantial for said child. As our family has grown, getting everyone everything he/she may want is a financial impossibility. Child number one doesn't quite get that. I'll save that for another post though. This year we are scaling back quite a bit. I'm sure it will all work out fine, after I have some sort of a mental breakdown over it all.

However, immediately after Christmas we launch into birthday central. This is part of the reason we have to scale back for the holidays: all four children have their birthdays within the month following Christmas. Drew's is three days after Christmas, the twins are two weeks later, and Meg's birthday is two weeks to the day after the twins. Holy cow (and yes, springtime in Maine is BORING!). It can be a bit much to deal with right after Christmas.

I love making the holidays special for the kids. I play Christmas music all the time, watch The Grinch and Charlie Brown's Christmas on DVD until I want to puke, and try to decorate the house nicely. The twins are really going to be into all the decorations this year~they went bonkers when we put up Halloween decorations! But a part of me feels like Charlie Brown because Christmas is so commercialized. I would love for the holidays to be more about spending time with family and friends, and less about what is under the Christmas tree, but without taking the fun out of it for the kids. Maybe this year our scaling back will help accomplish that.


Cass. Just Curious said...

thats a lot of turkey to feed all those people! Hope the scaling back helps lower your mach level.

Anonymous said...

Just caught up with the last few posts; that poor little arm! But great pink cast! :) I'm praying no more disasters are around the corner; you have had your fill!
On the Christmas/birthday front...we have decided to get the boys ONE present this year. (We have a Nov and Jan birthday). One thing we have noticed is that the more presents there are, the more bewildered they get...usually they are completely content with the first thing they open! So it's a box full of lincoln logs for the kiddos this year. And maybe some balloons to blow up and play with. :)

AndreAnna said...

We usually only do one or two presents too. We always adopt a family of volunteer.

This year, instead of gifts, we're taking C to the city to see the tree and FAO Schwarz.

My family gets the kids enough gifts for everyone.

creative kerfuffle said...

i'm right there with you on the whole commercialization of christmas. although i love, love love buying the gifts, i just hate the greed and the materialism of it all.
and omg i can't believe all four bdays are the month after! wow! the girl's bday is in jan, but one is nothing compared to four!

Saly said...

I love that photo!! I can't believe there were 2 babies in there! Bud's bday is Jan 7th so we have hectic crap too.

Anonymous said...

I know you'll snort or roll your eyes, but you are SO cute! if I was 7 months pregnant with twins, my ass wouldn't have been moving off the couch. Period!

We're scaling back, too. We only have the one kid, but my nephew's birthday is a week before Christmas and my daughter's is two weeks after. Plus, I've decided I don't want her to look at Christmas as "Oh boy! Gifts galore!" and get too wrapped up in that. I want her to know what Christmas is about. Plus, I know the in-laws (despite my requests NOT to) will go overboard (and then whine a month later that "Christmas was just SO costly this year).

Sammie-J said...

I agree with you totally. Christmas is my most favorite holiday, not because of the presents but because of the true meaning.
My mom was pretty smart with us kids, she always said "Don't expect too much for christmas because money is tight." But we always were satisfied, and I think it made us a little more thankful for what we did get.
Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Astarte said...

I agree totally. We're really focusing more on family and friends this year, too, and I made an effort to get everything that does need to be bought out of the way early so we can focus on each other for the rest of the season.