Christmas Shopping (Finally) Commences!

With the kids finally off quarantine (only one got sick, but the other two were excluded from school just in case) we can get back to the business of daily life, which this time of year means Christmas. Which means shopping.

We don’t give the kids much of an allowance, and usually they haven’t worried too much about Christmas and birthday gifts, especially for each other. Mom or I might get something made at school, or whipped together at home when we weren’t around, but brother or sister hasn’t gotten anything. With the older ones pushing into their teen years (12 and 11; I’m sorry, I mean 12 1/2 and 11 1/3!) I thought it would be a good idea for them to get each other something for Christmas, and something for their 5-year old brother, too.

Don’t get me wrong — I’m a little nervous about starting them in on the consumerist aspects of Christmas. But we don’t take them shopping much, and both of the older kids are pretty good about keeping their “wants” in line with their “haves” (that is, they dream about PlayStation 3’s and shark aquariums, but they’re pretty happy with what they already have, which is surprisingly little for kids in a family that isn’t rich, but certainly isn’t poor). So birthdays and Christmas are really the only times of the year when they get new stuff, and that doesn’t seem too overbalanced towards consumption.

Anyway, here’s the plan: take them to the mall or something, give them each $40, one goes with me, the other with mom, and let them pick out gifts for a) mom, b) me, c) the brother/sister with the other parent, d) little brother, and e) their uncle who’s staying with us as he goes through a divorce. So hopefully they’ll be learning to think within a budget while also learning some generosity and giving-ness.

And meanwhile my partner and I can be on the lookout for gifts for the last of our gift lists. I’m not crazy, of course –I ordered handmade gifts from etsy for as many people as I could manage, but for the hard cases — my brother and sister-in-law, and my dad — I’m pretty well stuck, and running out of time to order anything and have it here for Christmas.

Well, technically, “Chrismukkah” — my family is Jewish, my partner’s is nothing particularly but of Christian stock (outcast Mormon, to be precise), we’ve got Catholics and Christians and observant Jews and non-observant Jews and even atheist Jews (that’s me!). But whatever our faith (or lack thereof) we all have Christmas Day off from work. Since I was a kid, Christmas-time was the only time when everyone in my family could get together, give gifts, have family togetherness funtime.

Stick that in your First Amendment and burn it!

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