Tuesday, November 28, 2006

I did something right.

I am more than ambivalent about Christmas, which has led to a somewhat odd exposure to the holidays for Boy. I'm sure I've blogged about it before, but I can't find it now, so I'll recap the highlights:
1) One x-mas when it was just him and me I didn't tell him it was x-mas. I got him breakfast, went back to bed, slept in till 10, then got up and said, "Guess What? It's Christmas! There's no chimney, so Santa hid your toys!" and Boy ran around and found them where I'd hidden them in lieu of wrapping them. Boy actually remembers this fondly.
2) It may have been that x-mas, maybe the next, when I introduced the concept of the Yule Cat. It's a black cat the size of a house who eats up little kids who don't get clothes for Yule. You're not going to believe this, but I'm not actually the one who made this up. Some people in the old country who wanted their kids to spin a lot of thread did. Anyway, Boy thought it was grim. Later that season he saw America's Funniest Home Videos for the first time. There were people falling off stages and into trees. Boy started crying and said "Is this what Christmas is about? Is it about hurting people?" He sited the Yule Cat and the Show as examples.
3) One Christmas I told Boy he was getting a Barbie for Christmas. At first he was horrified, then he joined in the joke. But when he opened a package to see a picture of a very pink Barbie on the wrapper he cried. That's when I realized I took the joke too far. In all fairness, I had made a Barbie label and slipped it over the wrapper of a video game, thinking he'd realize it was fake right away.

In all of those Christmases he was never asked to make a list. I think that practise is disgusting. I think if gifts must happen at x-mas they should be a surprise to the recipient, and come from the heart of the giver. Making a list defeats both of those purposes. Where's the surprise if you made up the list of acceptable gifts? And how is it a gift from someone else's heart if you told them what to get? People should give you something they thought up, maybe even something they made up themselves. Alas, in my family all the grown-ups can't get on with x-mas until we tell them what Boy wants. And they seem to insist that it be something they can buy. If we ask for gifts that don't cost money, like pages for the family book, they'll make them, then ask what to get him for Christmas, because the pages didn't count.

This year I made a HintBug list with stuff on it for Boy and Peanut, but Boy doesn't know what's on there. There are things that you could make for free, and things you could buy. Whatever they choose, it's a surprise for Boy.

Anyway, I told Boy about how some kids make these lists of stuff they want, and how icky I thought that was, and he was like, "No Way! That IS icky!" Which leads me to believe that there is at least one thing I have gotten across to the Boy. Christmas isn't Gimme-Toys-Day, and he knows it.

going to put on socks that are three sizes too small,


dawn said...

Yay! I think that's great. I don't like getting someone something they asked for. I want it to be a surprise and special.

Esereth said...

I sort of sympathize with your relatives, with the, "okay now what do we REALLY buy them for xmas?" We went to ToyRUs for our nephews yesterday. I saw all this cool simple wholesome stuff (I LOVE anything Mellissa&Doug) that my heart told me to get, but then said to myself, no, no, that's through adult eyes. Kids want crazy crappy plastic."

That you've raised your son to be different is amazing.

But wouldn't he get disappointed if all his friends got pokemon and Pirates of the Carribean and he got better simpler stuff but they told him he was a loser? How do you combat that with him?