I can remember a childhood Christmas when I believed I heard Santa putting presents under the tree downstairs. I was in bed and I was laying so still, barely breathing, because I was afraid that if I moved a muscle Santa and his reindeer would fly away and leave me with nothing to open in the morning. I was literally terrified that I would not receive any presents.
I remember crafting long lists and letters to Santa of all the things my greedy little self coveted. I wanted this certain doll who’s hair grew when you put her arm up, Polly Pockets, money, etc. I remember the feeling of being totally consumed with wanting stuff.
Looking back, I am kind of disgusted with myself. Sure, I was a kid and what kid doesn’t love dreaming up all the things to ask Santa for for Christmas? What kid isn’t greedy when it comes to Christmas?
Sophie won’t remember this Christmas. Obviously, she’s not making lists or asking Santa for anything. But since she’s here and this is our first Christmas with a child it’s forced me to think about what I refer to in my mind as The Santa Issue. Because part of me wants to skip the whole Santa thing altogether-teach her that Santa is a story, a game, that lots of parents play with their kids. I don’t want her to ruin it for other kids, but I don’t want to put her in a situation that would cause her to become greedy. I don’t want her to ever get so caught up in presents that Jesus’ birth becomes a sidenote to the season.
The commercials I see for Toys R Us and Wal-Mart and Target and Gap and on and on and on the more nauseated I feel. It’s all about buying stuff. Do you know how much stuff I have? Not a lot comparatively, but too much. Do you know how much stuff Sophie has? Too much! She doesn’t wear all the clothes she has, she couldn’t possibly play with all the toys she has. But still, she’ll receive more. And there’s nothing I can do to stop it, because if I say she doesn’t need any gifts then I become a Grinch. I’m not anti-gifts. I’m anti-greed! I’m anti-buying stuff you don’t need just because it’s Christmas. Thank God I married a man who feels the same way.