Thursday, November 29, 2007

All I want for Christmas is...

hmmm Christmas presents. We have reached that point in the year where we have to decide what to get out kids this year. They pretty much have everything they want, my middle child couldn't even think of anything when I asked her last week. My oldest always asks for a P1aystation, (are we the only family in this country not to have one?), but I have held back for a long time on this because so many of the games I see at his mates places have been totally unsuitable for my two younger girls to see, and probably for him too. I am close to relenting now, because they are all a bit older, and because I can put my foot down on exactly what kind of content is allowed now that he is old enough to reason with. But I am still unsure. And my youngest wants a ... unicorn! Hmm anyone seen one of these about lately lol.

My in laws are giving them a table tennis table, which we will put up... somewhere, but I at least like the fact that it is an active game, and it gives them plenty of time to learn to play together, and develop good sportsmanship (because someone will have to have the littlest on their team) so they will have to learn to negotiate that, and to help her learn how to play.

Last year my brother gave them movie tickets. That was a truly great present, we don't go to the movies much we usually wait till things come out on DVD, so movie tickets were a real treat to them, and they thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

I have been asking the parents and grandparents to put money in for a yearly zoo pass, so we can visit the zoo whenever we feel like, or a yearly pass to Questacon, which is another fantastic place to go with kids, it stimulates their minds, and is lots of fun. So far the parents have been deaf to my ideas, but maybe one day! As an aside, anyone who is visiting Canberra I would highly recommend a visit to both places, especially if you have kids.

I read this post at No Impact Man about Christmas presents which I found thought provoking.

I don't want to take all the fun and gift giving out of Christmas, but I would like to make some changes. For the last few years the pile of presents under the tree on Christmas morning, and the amount of paper and packaging carnage that is left twenty minutes later has been obscene. My family are all comfortably off, our children want for nothing materially, but I do think that we have all become too focused on the material things, and forgotten about the personal. My parents buy all of the grand kids presents, but it has been ages since they have had the time to sit down and actually play with them one on one, particularly my kids because we live in a different state. I have heard my kids saying how long it has been since the saw Nana and Poppy, and that they miss them etc, I think they would rather have Nana and Pop spend a week with us and do stuff like watch them play sport, go for walks, have picnics, watch movies together, sit on their beds and talk to them, play boardgames etc, instead of receiving a package and a card on Christmas morning.

Don't get me wrong I do love presents! I would just like to see less emphasis on them. We see my parents often, but usually we and they are so busy, that there isn't the time to sit and really just be, there is always rushing off to do this and that, and be here and there, and the quality time just slips through the cracks.

This year on Christmas day there will just be me, DH and the three kids (and the dog) at home together until 4pm. What I want for Christmas is the awareness of being in the moment with them and enjoying each other. Sure there will still be presents, but my aim is for them to look back and not even remember what the presents were, but remember how good a time we had together.

What are you doing for Christmas this year?


Barb said...

What a fabulous post! We are doing what you are doing, spending most of the day at home having a great time together as a family - relaxing and not rushing.

Cinders said...

Josh was given a blue unicorn when he was younger. So cute - it moves its head from side to side to music. The funny thing is though, I went to put his good shoes away in their box and I found the unicorn 'sleeping' in there.

As long as I'm surrounded by my family on Xmas Day, I'm pretty happy. I am all for presents etc but I hate all the 'I want, I want' that tends to go with it. I do think also that the happy memories will outlast the latest playstation game etc.

Miss Beck said...

Ahh Linda, Bradman has one of those unicorns too.

My brothers girlfriend and her family draw out names on Boxing day and then they have a year to make something for that member of the family. It is extraordinary to see what they have done for one another. Little paintings, cross stitches, patchwork throw rugs for the lounge, funky little tops..

They are all girls of course but the amount of love that goes into the present are wonderful.

Perhaps you could do a 'make a gift' focus or we did an active xmas focus in 2004. All present had to be something to keep us active.

My brother got a game of quoits that kept us laughing half of xmas day, my sister got a game of totem tennis... you get the picture. It was great fun.

This year, I don't have Bradman :( so I will be spending lunch with Scotts longest friend's family (known each other since preschool) and dinner with Scott's family.

It will feel weird to be without my son.

Trish said...

We're escaping this year. Thanks for the inspiration - I've written about this on my blog :-)

Shauna said...

i like your thinking, joc! gareth and i have bought ourselves tickets to see radiohead next june and that'll be it. it just seems to be way out of hand These Days! Especially when they're advertising Xmas stuff on the telly before Halloween! :)

toddlerplanet said...

This is lovely. I like this very much. Maybe I'll check out a gift membership to our aquarium this year for our parents ... truly a doing gift, if they like it. Thanks for the inspiration!