Christmas is for children and grandparents. Not the Christian celebration, which, let's all be honest here, has absolutely nothing to do with the lights, music, parties, gifts, and yards of wrapping paper. No one is synchronizing their outdoor light display to music solely for the glory of their savior. I love the Lord, but am also realistic enough to acknowledge that Christmas is a two-part event, and every person with a 'Jesus is the Reason for the Season' sign in their yard is equally as guilty of the same materialism as the atheist next door.
Again, I have come to the conclusion that Christmas is for children and grandparents. Children are showered with toys, stuffed with candy, and squired around to various seasonal events. Grandparents generally live to have their grandchildren and family visit, and Christmas fits the bill. Those of us stuck in the middle are the ones slaving away to make the holiday magic happen.
My husband took 3/4 of the children shopping for me after school one day last week. They were home before dark, as I ran all over town trying to cross a few things off my list; gifts for my four children, husband, parents, step-sister and niece, co-workers, White Elephant for husband's office party, hostess gifts for parties, parent's anniversary gift (thanks for that 12/22 bonus!), design, order, address and mail cards, harangue, demand, and walk oldest children through process of procuring gifts for their fathers and step-families, then the baking and candy making. This morning I am tackling the wrapping. We have a few presents under the tree, but nothing near the number of Amazon boxes stashed around the house, holding things that need to be wrapped.
I have a spreadsheet that tracks gifts, delivery dates, and number of wrapped gifts that each child will get (this is important amongst the young ones, so I have to combine and separate accordingly so they feel everything is equitable). This is ridiculous, but entirely necessary. Without the document,, I am likely to have hidden something that I purchased and forget about it until April.
I might have told this gift-story before; and while I might not have been appreciative of the big picture before, I now have the utmost appreciation for a gift I received when I was 16 or 17. A male friend handed me a Fram oil filter for my car - topped with a bow, with a Sharpie-inscribed message that promised a free oil change. Now that was a good gift, with just the right amount of wrapping.
I have a few last minute things to buy - stocking stuffers and something for the step-sister. A trip to the Big Box discount store and the liquor store should do it. Unless I have forgotten something or someone. Better double-check the spreadsheet.