Thank you for reminding me, OtR. I KNOW it's coming... it has been for a long time already! :)
Don't get me wrong; I love Christmas. Every year, I enjoy baking gingerbread men and then decorating them with the boys; carefully choosing our "Charlie Brown" Christmas tree (small and sweet); finding gifts for my family; creating or buying cards to send...
But I want Christmas to be simple. And it never is! As much as I try to make it so every year, it always seems to go crazy! Too much stuff. Too much food. Too much time spent making the stuff and the food and not enough time spent with people.
We've decided to give all three boys "Christmas trips" this year, to be taken sometime in the New Year. Mr J's will be to London Zoo, a day out with just him and Daddy. For the Boys, we're planning to take them to Birmingham, eat at a nice restaurant (man, do those boys love to eat!), and go to Symphony Hall to enjoy an evening of music, as of yet we've not quite decided what. It might be Chopin; I'm hoping so.
Focusing on "consumable" gifts will relieve the stress of trying to fit more "things" into our already jam-packed little house. The kids' stockings will be full of Green and Black's, Panda licorice, and the little bags of salted peanuts they're so fond of. So they're missing plastic pieces of junk that they'll break in a few hours? Oh well, they'll live. And my boys WILL live. As I've mentioned, they love to eat.
I'll make a few homemade things. I'm planning a fabric picture book for Coo, with soft materials and felt, ribbons and buttons, knitted bits and pieces... all the things that my tactile little girl loves. Mr J has been asking for a new jumper; the one I knitted for him a few years ago is too small. For the Boys, I'll draw them some Lord of the Rings style maps on parchment paper, then make a little leather bag to keep them in. That's all work for December, though. Until the end of this month, I'll focus on preparing Christmas cards, photos, and other bits and pieces to be sent to the US by the first week of December.
So yeah, Consumerism - oops, I mean Christmas - is coming... and I'm wondering. What do you do to avoid the consumer mentality surrounding Christmas? Or do you embrace the lovely, bright, consumeristic joy of the holiday with open arms? I'm just curious... let me know!