Sunday, October 27, 2013

Experiential Christams

I walked into the house yesterday afternoon after returning home from a night away (where, admittedly, none of us got much sleep b/c E still just doesn't sleep well when we're anywhere but home so I was kinda on the verge of losing my mind anyway). I looked around and saw the mess. Dear lord, the mess. My house is a mess. We have so much stuff. So much crap. Junk we don't need. And then it hit me. Christmas is soon. And then there will be even more crap in my house. SweetBabyJesus, I can't handle any more crap in my house.

Cue internal panic attack.

I tried to calm myself down so as not to lose my shit. I was somehow able to employ a few positive coping skills and made myself focus on some solutions.

So there are a few options here. First, we cancel Christmas. I admit, that was the first thing to pop into my head. But I was pretty sure the rest of my family would revolt, so I sadly dismissed it.

Next to present itself was the elimination plan. "I'll just get rid of all this crap so when the new crap moves in, it won't be so bad". But I'm pretty sure the little people in my house would loudly and repeatedly cry and whine about that, too. And, let's be honest, don't nobody want to hear any of that. Mostly me. *I* don't want to hear none of that. Particularly since it would be directed at me.

Or third, and probably the best option, I'd love for my kids to get experiences for Christmas this year, instead of presents. Well, we'll still do Santa presents (because, again, the whining!), but from everyone else, I'd really like them to not get things, but experiences. Ideally, it would be a gift/experience that would give them time with the gift-givers. But, even if the giver prefers not to spend time with the kids for whatever reason (really, I know I've been complaining about the whining, but it really does seem to be focused on me, not others. So, really, they won't whine at you!), this would give hubby and I opportunities to spend time with our kids in different ways.

This plan is a win all around. My kids gets to spend quality time with people who love them. That's something that they benefit from (new experiences! Time away from cranky parents! Time with different adults!). We, as parents, benefit from this deal (time away from cranky children! Time to recharge and not be cranky parents! Happy children who have varied life experiences and bolstered confidence from time spent with adults who love them!). The givers benefit (time with children who are lovable, adorable and adore them!).Society even benefits (less plastic and crap in the world). I mean, really, why would we not get on board with this plan?!

So, that's my plan for Christmas. And I really, really, hope those of you who love my children and plan to give them Christmas gifts this year are also excited about this. Because I really am. And not just because I need less crap in my house. But because I really, truly, believe it's going to be better for my boys. Also, don't be surprised if your kids get a few experiences for Christmas this year from us.

Today's Lesson: There is too much crap in my house. Period. But, sometimes, even too much crap can help a mama have a light bulb moment. And, a second and completely unrelated lesson because it's your lucky - lack of sleep sometimes can make one use lots and lots of run-on sentences.


Elizabeth said...

I love this idea!! I am also noticing how much "stuff" is around here and I'm thinking we might need another purge fest. Not even with baby/child things. Probably with our own stuff!

Thrift Store Mama said...

Wonderful idea. We keep gift giving as modest as absolutely possible and it is wonderful. I found that when my youngest turned 4, there was a sort of shift as the toys seemed to become smaller or something.