well, it's over. 20 some days of shopping and madness for 20 minutes (at the most) of paper ripping fun. and i am feeling kind of happy about how we 'did christmas' this year. well, to be really honest i think i would like a bit more balance. maybe we went a bit far on the scale when we went with no gifts for anyone at all except lauryn. that's right, we bought and wrapped ONE SINGLE gift this year and it was for little lauryn. none for ryan because there are things he needs and he doesn't know the difference yet. there is a part of me inside that holds tightly to 'what i know' and feels awkward about that.
i think it could also be the same part of me that wishes that we had bought gifts for our immediate family. i missed that feeling of seeing joy on someone's face when they open something that you gave them (that they are happy to receieve, anyway). don't get me wrong, i am still very happy to know that we gave toward the wells for people without drinking water as well as the aids support group in the bahamas and i KNOW this kind of giving will be a part of our tradition. but, perhaps in an effort to remove ourselves from the vortex of consumerism (by remove ourselves i mean trying to climb OUT of the hole into which we have already fallen)... as i was saying we may have taken it a bit too far and missed out on the genuine sharing and caring that (can) happen/s. now that it's all said and done, i really wish we'd gotten gifts for my mom and sisters. and for my friends' kids (and my two wives too). i would like to have gotten something for nathan too. and yes, i would be remiss if i didnt' say that i would like to have gotten something from him. this is, after all, the 'reminder' time of year where it's designated 'show appreciation for everyone you love' time. and humans kind of need that. a reminder to do something to show friends you really appreciate them. (which is a good policy to ensure that no obligatory or duress gifts are purchased too. as in: i have to buy a gift for suzie because she's gonna buy one for me. or i don't even really like so-and-so but i have to buy a gift for him..
:/ but we are going to get a few pieces of clothes (to replace my washed- and stretched-out, and very stained tee shirts and replace some of nathan's wicked old shirts too. again, my thoughts lead me to the path of balance. always the thing i am hoping to achieve in pretty much everything i do.
can you believe i thought i could limit how many presents lauryn was allowed to open to three???? haha! what a laugh! she only had like 5 or 6 under the tree, so it wasn't that bad (like 12 or 13, in which case i think would really have tried to make some kind of cut off till later) and she did show genuine appreciation for the gifts so that was okay. but then, i guess i robbed her of the feeling of giving too. let's face it, she has no concept of giving money to charitable organisations. and there is so much fun in picking out things for someone you love. so next year, we will move further in, toward the cente of the scale and try not to tip it too much in one direction or another.
still, the idea of sharing with those who need more than we do and being in community with the children at the orphanage is something i plan to incorporate into our regular lives next year. (i.e. not just waiting till christmas to 'give' of ourselves and our pockets).
okay, ryan is getting mommy restless. nathan can only hold him for so long with the ball. i gotta run.