Monday, November 30, 2009

Day 57

Wow it’s that time of year again. Time to put up the Christmas tree, hang the lights on the house and get the gift wrap out. Didn’t we just put all that away? There is nothing like Christmas to remind you of the speed of time. Birthday’s although annual just don’t seem to come around as quickly as Christmas does. I think it’s because Christmas probably goes for two – three months if the truth be known. From the first advertisements to the post-Christmas sales, it seriously takes up a quarter of our year.

Today is the last day of November and Christmas has officially commenced in our house. I have started the Christmas shopping and am getting twitchy about the whole gift receiving onslaught. I am all into the giving, but it’s the receiving I have a bit of trouble with. Oh, it’s lovely and I am grateful (and so, hopefully, are the kids) but I feel a little claustrophobic as the house gets crowded and we start to suffocate in stuff. I am doing my best to keep my generation Z kids from tacking onto the instant gratification generation Y by being very mindful of their gifts this year. But gee it is hard. Yet another mid-life-crisis moment is looming as I battle between loving, nurturing and giving Mum and a bah humbug Scrooge.

The first thing I need to do is clean out the cupboards. Out with the old to make way for the new. But what happens with the old? Do we add it to the landfill, set up a garage sale or pass it to charity? We tend to do a combination of all three but yet another mid-life-crisis moment emerges when I think about the waste that our instant gratification mindset is causing. The movie Wall-E emerges in my brain (a true horror flick) as piles of moulded (and probably lead based) plastic piles out of the kids rooms and into the hallway for sorting. What have we done? What are we continuing to do?

The thing I do have in my favour this year is that the kids are getting older and there is less request for toys. Even my five year old has given up on the toy department and asked for cool clothes, art supplies and shoes with wheels (?) instead. But it doesn’t change my anxiety which has changed as I age from “will we have enough money”, “am I giving them enough”, “can I keep the secret stuff secret” to “where am I going to put it all”, “what will happen to it when we’re done with it” and “why are we indulging in such materialism”.

You see, I am getting old! I have a conscience. I am showing my age. All of this comes from the mind of a middle-aged anally retentive worry wart. I need to take off my deep fried fruit hat for a few days and allow the magic of Christmas encapsulate me like it does the children. If I’m not careful I will start dreaming of the ghosts of past, present and future! Oh crap.

I’m already having those dreams. Well this sucks ….

It's all quite fascinating really ...

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