My children have a lot of stuff.
I work hard each year, starting in October, to go through old toys with my children, decide what we will put away, decide what we will donate, and so on. The kids like to do this, primarily because they know other stuff is coming in — and, yeah, that their toys are going to find a home with a child who doesn’t have as much as they do for one reason or another.
As I mentioned yesterday, we keep Christmas to one Santa gift, plus stocking stuffers. When other family members ask, I request memberships; educational toys or board games; arts and crafts; or Wii and DSi games. Books are also popular, although I tend to buy those myself. And I ask: please, not a lot. (And please, no clothes for the girls!)
Saturday afternoon, while the girls were out and about with their Bella and Tadone (part of their Christmas gift to the grandchildren was a day out together), I went down the basement and picked out three gifts from what we had stored down there. These are Michael’s gifts this year.
And then, as I was wrapping them, I realized that I couldn’t say that one of these gifts was from Santa. The girls will recognize their former toys.
So, I went out and bought Michael a Santa toy to give him. I felt like an idiot — that I care so much to perpetuate the myth that I was adding to the stuff in the house. I had felt bad already — a little guilty, a little ridiculous — that I was picking Michael’s toys from the girls’ castoffs, but ultimately, he’s not going to care. I’m going to have to keep him from eating the wrapping paper, really. The Santa gift is less for him, and more for the girls (not the actual gift, although they will horn in on it. It’s a Brand.New.Toy!)… and for me.
To keep the magic alive.
For an outstanding (and hilarious) conversation about the pros and cons of Santa, check out the Voices at Babble: Is Santa a hero, or just a big lie? Read and weigh in. I know where I stand.