Making a List
Remember when I said this? I'm happy to report that I do and even happier to report I have (basically) stuck to my guns this year.
It started with a discussion Nelson and I had about making a concerted effort to try to take the materialist elements out of our celebration this year. I have always been a bargain shopper consequently; the kids have always had lots of gifts under the tree. Most years, they've had very nice gifts that I got for free or very inexpensively. Regardless of what I paid, what they got was stuff...lots of it.
This year I wanted to avoid the stuff. We don't need more stuff.
A month ago, I remembered something a friend of mine told me she did with her kids for Christmas. It was going to be a startling difference but, I figured we’ve got to start sometime. So around Thanksgiving I told the kids to make their Christmas lists. "You can ask for something you want, something you need, something to wear and something to read," I floated, expecting a barrage of protests.
Instead there was a silence. "So we can only ask for four things?" one child finally noted.
"You can put more than one thing in each column because other people will be getting you gifts, but we are going to stick to four,” I said with feigned resolve. And that was it.
The lists were made with much thought and little greed. I saw these young children really mulling over what qualifies as a need and what qualifies as want. It was beautiful. The lists were simple and easy; therefore, so was shopping.
That’s how it started and we’ll see how it all pans out. Whatever the case, I definitely think we’re headed in the right direction.