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My Christmas Wish List

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(Editor’s Note: Join us in welcoming guest blogger Jenn Starbuck who is slowly being converted from the world of print journalism to blogging.)

I’m cranky and it’s just barely Christmas season.

Well, I guess in today’s world the festivities begin the day after Halloween, with the stringed lights, nativity scenes and tree lots going up almost as soon as I put out my jack-o-lanterns.

Yes, I was that one mother you saw on Halloween morning, with kids in tow, searching from one store to the next for pumpkins. After three retailers, I ended up at a local nursery eyeballing a half-dozen shriveled, pint-sized gourds. We took four of them home and carved our wimpy family just in time for trick-or-treating.

After that slacker-mom experience, I vowed to get my Christmas gift-buying done by Thanksgiving. But there goes the crankiness again.

I’ve got girlfriends who have been ready for weeks now, so what’s wrong with me? I’ll tell you. The commercials on TV. There’s one in particular that really gets my Scrooge going: the Sears “Wish Book” ads. It’s all about making that special someone’s wildest wishes come true for Christmas.

With much-deserved respect to the foundation that gives a little joy to sick kids, Christmas is not a Make-A-Wish holiday. I’m really not interested in granting once-in-a-lifetime requests to the people on my Christmas shopping list, especially since they’ll be on the list next year.

Now, I don’t hate the world. I love my family, and I want them to have memorable holidays. I don’t want to give everyone a kick in the butt and a slap in the face, my husband’s usual response when asked for his Christmas list. In fact, I usually decorate our house the day after Thanksgiving, I’m a freak about listening to holiday music all month long, and I spend several days baking treats for family and friends. It’s just this whole rabid consumerism that has become America is ruining my holiday. And I want it back.

So, for now on, I’m giving people what they need for Christmas, not what they want.

To my 3 and a half old baby girl, I’m giving a year’s worth of time outs. My angel is what I like to call single-minded, strong in convictions – how do you say? β€” spirited. So I know it won’t be long before she’ll try to back-talk me, or wrestle her brother to the ground because he didn’t swoop in on cue for the kiss while playing Sleeping Beauty and Prince Charming.

To my 2 and a half year old boy, I’m giving continence. We’ve been practicing for a month now, and he understands the concept of going in the potty, and in fact he wants to sit on the potty, but he just can’t commit yet. I’m giving him the gift of making poo or pee in a designated receptacle. And at this point, I don’t care if that is toilet, tree or grassy knoll, just somewhere I don’t have to clean up.

To my deathly frugal husband, I’m giving dozens of packages of socks, briefs and T-shirts to replace the threadbare and stained rags he just won’t part with.

And as for me, really, don’t worry about it. I’m just the one who cooks, cleans, dresses, wipes, and otherwise cares for the physical and emotional well-being of my family. But if you must, make it a scarecrow and pumpkin-carving set, so I can get a jump on next year.

Jennifer Starbuck is a guest blogger who lives in Centennial. When she’s not in hand-to-hand combat with her laundry pile or refereeing her 3-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son, you can find her either knitting, reading, or playing outdoors, or some combination thereof.

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Comments
  • comment avatar Amber Johnson November 29, 2007

    Are you sure your three and a half year old is not related to mine? Maybe we can give them the gift together. πŸ™‚

  • comment avatar Joanne November 29, 2007

    Those sound like lovely gifts to me.

  • comment avatar Dana November 29, 2007

    That kick in the butt and slap in the face may be richly deserved….give him what he needs and has worked so hard to earn! It is the holidays, after all!

    Also…here is a hint…get the plug-in Jack-o-Lantern, you’ll never by another shriveled up gourd as long as you live!

  • comment avatar Catherine Dix November 29, 2007

    Hear! Hear!

    In retaliation of commercials, I got all drastic on my family a few months back and just shut off the cable. Unbelievably, my ten and seven-year-olds have adjusted just fine. It’s quite amazing what happens when the Pied Piper quits singing its tune.

    Great post, Jennifer!

  • comment avatar Jenn November 30, 2007

    Actually, I thought we were the only family that does not have cable (or any other service). For two months I actually unplugged the TV all together and told the kids it wasn’t working (not really a white lie, because I made it not work). But then, I plugged it back in, of course, because a girl’s got to clean the house sometime without two children underfoot. (But we still limit TV time and watching to PBS.)

  • comment avatar Charlotte November 30, 2007

    AT my house we call it strong willed – yea right!!!! (grin) Every where every minute is an ad on some violent toy for little kids. If we stop buying do you think the manufacturing madness will stop?

    Great write Jenn!

    See you next Friday after those days of baking!!!!
    Oh yea – can you do some for me since you are doing a couple of days worth???

  • comment avatar Aimee November 30, 2007

    “To my 2 and a half year old boy, I’m giving continence.” I laughed out loud at that one.

  • comment avatar Carrie November 30, 2007

    It’s just this whole rabid consumerism that has become America is ruining my holiday. And I want it back.

    Hear, hear, sister. Hallelujah and Amen.

    Your brother went one better and suggested not having Christmas at all this year.

    And I thought Iwas the Grinch in our family. πŸ™‚

  • comment avatar Nayomi December 4, 2007

    My 8 yr. old free willed little angel still does the same things, to her now 5 yr old brother. As for Christmas? Bah Hum Bug. HA!HA! I put out the decorations finally, then my 17 month old decides that the ornaments are balls, or apples. Try cleaning glass out of a babys mouth. I enjoyed your post Jenn. It is good to know that I am not alone in the jumble of the holidays.

  • comment avatar Dana P December 17, 2007

    I am 19 year old. I have a baby girl. she will be 2 dec.31. she dont listen to me at all, its like she is queen or something she tell me no smacks me. we started potty training she did good for 3 days. now she say no and stand there and laughs in front of me and say pee pee and pee pee on herself in front of me. I dont know what to do I have tried every thing my family has told me to do. I also looked on the internet every thing esle needs money to get I have no money I also dont really have the money for my little girls christmas or birthday so any tips at all will be a big help. thanks alot!

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