My favorite gift has been my Container Store pantry door stuff.
I can not believe how much it expands the space I have in my pantry. It is truely awesome. No, really it doesn't take much to get me all a-twitter. I did a few other odds and ends, but I didn't want for much this year. The boys were lavished upon by family and friends, though J-boy didn't get the one Big Gift he asked for this year. The thing of it is, buddy, your birthday is just 10 days after Christmas so we kinda gotta spread the love, ya know? The gift was was ordered and is on it's way in anticipation of said birthday, but no it wasn't under the tree. We'll just consider it a life lesson in dealing with disappointment.
One thing we did do on Christmas Eve was take some presents, donated by area agencies to Papa's work, to some of Papa's clients. Our boys got to see first hand how much need there is out there, in some cases very close to home. I'm not trying to bring them down for the holidays, but I do want them to recognize, though not rich in dollars, we are very blessed. Papa's work allows our kids the unique opportunity to see beyond their world and grasp that poor and starving isn't just across the ocean, it's right here a few miles down the road. J-boy got it, but he's a little older, and it's all about layers of life lessons, not shoving it all down their throat at once, I know.
To that end though, I feel the need to simplifiy the season. There is too much pressure to outdo each year. The truth is this Christmas we got our kids very little and still they have more than they can possibly play with over winter break. We have so many family members who have all given gifts to my boys that it seemed like a waste to throw more money at things they could not possibly remember through the haze of the other gifts. I know for some families they want to do it up big for the holidays and I respect that, but I've decided not to buy into the whole big gift = love-my-kid-more school of thought that retailers perpetuate.
I'm just saying no to all the emphasis on one day of gift giving. Thank you for your support.