Monday, December 24, 2007

'Twas the afternoon before Christmas

And here we sit like on any other day. Fun!

Matt went to work this morning, because apparently corporate America opens their offices on Christmas Eve if it falls on a weekday. Who knew?

My friend Melissa and her son came over this morning and we exchanged the kids gifts. Melissa is a thoughtful gift-picker-outer and gift-maker so the girls were thrilled. Of course, in just under an hour Iris already broke something from her sister's gift. Did I expect any less?

Speaking of gifts, I feel compelled to point out my annoyance at parents who seriously control the kinds of things that other people are allowed to give their children as gifts. I do realize that some people have serious philosophical objections to guns or something, but it seems like it's really gone overboard, in my opinion. Parents not allowing anything battery-operated, plastic, or "made in China". It's crazy. You know what I do when someone gives my child a gift? I thank them profusely for spending their hard-earned money and time in picking out something they think my children would like. Of course I am happy to lend suggestions to those who specifically ask for ideas on what to give my kids but I would never refuse a gift that they are given. I am sitting here even trying to think of one thing I wouldn't allow them to have and I don't think I can. Obviously something that is dangerous, like if they were given a toy that could easily break or is sharp, but that's about it. Oh, I'd draw the line at lewd or obscene clothing, as well.

We are lucky in that the people who are so amazingly generous enough to give our children gifts tend to not choose things like Bratz dolls or machine guns, but even if they did I doubt I would not allow them in our home. We do have to pick and choose the toys that we keep in storage and regularly send seldom played with toys to Goodwill simply because of a space issue. Unfortunately the gigantic stuffed horse Great-Grandma got Iris a couple Christmas's ago has rarely seen the light of day given that it takes up like half of the living room. Someday we'll have space for it, though. Iris may be 13 when that happens, but, damn it!, she'll have her stuffed horse!

I just really had to get that off my chest because it is one little thing that annoys me to no end, especially during the holidays when people give out of the goodness of their hearts. I hate the thought of the message being passed along to children that if a toy or piece of clothing doesn't fit in to a very rigid set of rules then it's not acceptable when all gifts should be received with gratitude.

I feel better now that I vented.

Tonight after the girls go to bed Matt and I have a huge amount of Santa's work to do. Toys have to be put away in storage to make way for new toys. You think Iris will wonder if the real Santa did all of that moving himself? Hmmmm. Things need to be wrapped and set up. The kitchen set pieces need to come up from storage. If we had a whole night of uninterrupted time to do this it would be fine, but Eloise's sleep has been deplorable at best, so one of us will likely be wrangling Santa's duties alone while the other wrangles a screaming toddler. Fun! Happy Holidays!

We are going out to dinner tonight, though, as is a tradition we started last year because it works really well. You know, no dishes to do or meals to cook. Sweet! Christmas Eve tacos anyone? Feliz Navidad!


  1. so what would you do if someone did give them automatic (toy) weapons? i only ask because i'd be in your same boat... i'd never have the balls to tell someone what not to buy, though i would really prefer not to have toy assault rifles in my house... but what to do when they appear? ship em off to goodwill the next day? try to explain it to the wee ones? oh the perils of modern parenting! happy holidays!!

  2. Hmmmm. What would I do. Well, first and foremost, I think one thing about the stereotypes of girls, it is highly, highly unlikely something like that would be purchased for girls. Also, the family and friends we have just wouldn't purchase something like that, it just wouldn't register with them

    However, if something like that DID end up in my house I would talk to my girls about how we can be very grateful someone took the time to purchase it, but it's not a toy we play with and basically explain why.

    But like I said, that would just never happen to us!


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