So Christmas is upon us again. And every year, I end up with Charlie Brown-style indignance to the materialism the holiday brings. "Who would spend all that money on inflatable Santas? Do they know how many needy children that could feed?" I scoff, while straightening my angel wings and my halo. I decorate our tree with some candy canes, slap a wreath on the front door and sit on my chair of self-righteousness, proud that I am above all the materialism.
And then it's time to buy the presents.
Here's my thing with toys. I get super excited to buy new toys. Pretty much as excited as my kids are, for about a day, and then they forget about said new toy and I trip on it in the middle of the night and I morph into The Hulk..."RAWR!! WHY DO WE KEEP BUYING ALL THESE TOYS!!" But then I forget how much I hate toys and see something fun and the cycle starts all over again. I have kept most of Captain Destructo's old toys, since New Baby is 2 years behind her and I keep thinking we will reuse all of the toys. But now I have baby toys, early toddler toys, older toddler toys, and Sesame Street toys. Add to that the fact that Captain Destructo is suddenly over Sesame Street and very very into Disney Princesses, and it's like a freaking Toys R Us in here.
Back to Christmas. I love seeing my kids open their presents as much as anyone, but the thought of all those new toys in my house makes me cry a little. As in most aspects of motherhood, I'm torn between teaching my kids humility and simplicity and giving them wonderful Christmas memories. (Although New Baby is only 9 months old. And let's face it, she's just going to eat the wrapping paper.) On one hand, I'm excited to see Captain Destucto open the Princess dolls she wanted. On the other, I know she'd be just as happy looking at the pictures of Princesses in the Toys R Us catalog that she's been carrying around since Thanksgiving. My solution this year is to give all of the old toys away, so that in my mind, it's kind of like I'm not buying more crap for my kids, I'm making a way for us to make a big donation to charity. In a month, Captain Destructo will turn 3 and I'm going to have to deal with all the toys all over again. At which point I'll be reaching for the leftover eggnog and crying into my pillow.