It’s been another doozy of a year and, with Christmas just around the corner, many of us aren’t sure what’s in store, literally. There have been so many warnings about our supply chain being interrupted, possibly making the items on a child’s wish list unavailable.
Christmas shopping has always been a challenge for me. Not the actual shopping part – I LOVE SHOPPING – but as a parent, I’ve always struggled with how much to buy the children for Christmas.
My husband and I come from huge Italian American families with dozens of aunts, uncles, and cousins. We both have such beautiful memories of big Christmas Eve parties celebrated with The Feast of the Seven Fishes. There were heaping platters of pasta, seafood, antipasto, and desserts with music and dancing and children running everywhere. Later on, some adults would go to Midnight Mass then come back to eat a little more.
We little ones were tucked in after dinner and, when those adults returned from church, were woken up to rush to the window to try and catch sight of Santa and his reindeer as they took flight.
Presents were piled high under the tree, and we got to open ours while the adults admired our new games and toys. We played a bit until everyone went home, then got tucked in once more.
My sister and I woke at daybreak on Christmas mornings to play with our toys while our parents had a chance to sleep in, knowing that we were happily occupied. Well played, Mom & Dad.
When we had our first child, we felt very uncomfortable about overindulging her. Couldn’t we just give her three gifts like the Baby Jesus received from the Three Kings? Our families looked at us in horror. What kind of monsters were we?
This is what we came to realize … Grandparents and Godparents LIVE to spoil the children. Nothing makes them happier than a blizzard of wrapping paper flying through the air and squeals of joy from the kiddos. We tried to keep our own gift-giving to a minimum, but there were always way too many presents from the family.
Was it wrong to stash a few each year so as not to overwhelm them? Maybe, but the surprise of receiving a little something after the pandemonium of the holidays made it feel a lot like Christmas all over again.
“What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas … perhaps … means a little bit more!” -Dr. Seuss
By Kim Amato / Founder / Baby’s Bounty
Vice Chair / Maternal Child Health Coalition