I can't even believe that Christmas is around the corner. Literally. Wow.
2008, you have been a fast little buggar!
And we are yet at another speed bump in the road called "How Much Is Santa Allowed To Bring For Christmas?"
Because the economy was better in the past, and because we were a lot more stupid in the past (can I get a raise of hands of those who were stupid about gift buying for their kids? Anyone?)
we Santa has brought entirely too much. On several occasions, the sheer amount of new toys has brought about some twitching and abandoning new toys to play with comfortable old ones, and we have (on more that one occasion) given away toys that have only been played with once or never.
We were so stupid.
Thanks to Ye Olde Economy (which was "officially" reported to be in a recession yesterday....um, yeah, thanks for the update genius economists...I kinda got that on my own), and due in part to us being a little less stupid this year, we have set pretty defined limits on Santa.
I mean, he's a jolly old soul and a merry old man, but he needs BOUNDARIES, people.
This year, the kids are allowed to make their lists for Santa. Mary Emma literally sits in front of the TV and writes down every single thing that comes on every single commercial. Her list is pages long. Tait and Camille are too little to make lists, but Tait is understanding "Santa" for the first time this year. She's 3. Anyway, their lists can have 246 items on them, but Santa chooses the 5 gifts that HE thinks they would love and play with the most. Only 5. They still get to ask for stuff, but they are also still surprised on Christmas morning. They also get one gift from Spencer and I, and one gift from the other 2 sisters. That will make 7 total on Christmas morning. We can also control the budget on these gifts. Mary Emma's list contains some EXPENSIVE stuff that Santa is choosing not to bring this year.
I have to tell you about Tait's "list". She technically doesn't have a list, but she has asked for 2 things. 1. a vacuum 2. a brown baby. A "brown baby" is an African-American baby doll. Now, before any of you get all riled up, this is as innocent and non-racial as can be. A couple of months ago, the girls went to "Family Fun Day" at my dad's church (he's the pastor). They had a bunch of games and you won prizes with each game. At the end of the day, and because the girls were the pastor's grandkids, church members gave them a bunch of leftover prizes. AKA, jackpot for the kids. Most of them were little prizes like temporary tattos, pencils, but one lady gave them the last 3 baby dolls. 2 were Caucasian, 1 was African-American. Tait and Camille got the Caucasian dolls and Mary Emma got the African-American one. Tait absolutely LOVES that doll. She confiscated it from Mary Emma. You can generally find it hidden under the covers in her bed. She calls it "Mary Emma's Brown Baby". Now, remember, she's 3, knows NOTHING about race, and is learning her colors. To her, it's a brown baby and she adores it. So she has asked Santa for her own Brown Baby. The vacuum? No idea where that came from. But every store around here is sold out of play vacuums. Wonderful.
As for grandparents. Lord have mercy. Their only "requirement" is to not overshadow Santa. And for my mom, no toys that require additional rooms to be built onto the house. And I'm not even kidding. Love ya, mom.
I'm curious as to how you handle Christmas. Do you limit Santa or is it a free-for-all? Do you spend equal amounts on each kid? I have a hard time with that because older kids obviously have more expensive toys. I'm sure they'll get to an age where I can spend equal amounts on each of them, but I'm not there yet.
Let me know what you do - I'm interested.
And much less stupid. :)