All I Want For Christmas

It’s been a whirlwind of a trip so far and we’re only about halfway through our holiday.

I woke the kids up early on the 21st in order to catch the taxi I had prearranged for 6:00am to the airport on time. I did Instagram stories for the first time depicting the morning and wake up in which Little E jumped out of bed and Z had the slowest wake up known to mankind which is completely opposite for them. ( I ended up documenting our entire day which was fun) The kids downed a bowl of cereal and brushed their teeth in record time they were so excited to for an airplane ride. In my mind I’m like y’all have flown on more planes compared to 75% of humans do in their lifetime, but memory before a certain age is a bitch so to them it was basically a first.

J had taken a box of gifts in her car for me which saved us suitcase space so we tucked our few bags in the taxi and drove the half hour to the airport which was a pleasant enough ride. Once at the airport I realized how many people travel during the holidays, something I’d never done before. We checked our bags and began the long journey through a massive security line.

This line was one of the longest I’ve seen and I’ve travelled through O’Hare which at the time was reputed to be the busiest airport in the world. I’ve traveled through Heathrow and Istanbul’s international airport. Like I’ve seen some big and busy airports, but this line took the cake. The kids were so well behaved and patient though! I was so proud of them. There was this one lady in front of us who just did not have her shit together. She went before us, and by the time all three of us had taken coats off and unpacked electronics and boarding passes, walked through security, and the replaced everything, oh including shoes on and off, she had gotten her coat back on. All I could think of was it was people like her that made the line so long and slow, not necessarily kids as most assume.

Anyways I finally had my coffee in the waiting area and the kids found a little play centre to pass the 20 minutes we had before boarding. Once we got settled on the plane, the kids were so excited for the flight that when the plane finally took off they both started giggling, it was adorable. They were perfectly quiet during the flight, Little E opting for his book, and Z practicing her lettering. The hour flight went by no problem and my dad picked us up from the airport with his customary timbits and we started the close to hour long drive home. Crazy hey?

We got to my parents house and my little sister N and her husband D were there to greet us with their little baby F, who was born a week before we left. We had an afternoon of snuggles and baby cuddling which I missed. F is a chunk bucket and the most adorable little thing ever. Then we made a stop at the kids old daycare to see their friends before it closed for Christmas. Santa was visiting there, and my kids got to go first, imagine that 😑.

My mom had a Christmas party arranged for the night and even though I was exhausted from not sleeping well the night before and my early morning, I made my appearance for her 25+ guests and the kids did well until finally dropping into bed close to midnight. This wrapping a long day one of our Christmas holiday.

-Mariah Carey/ All I Want For Christmas-

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I Don’t Want A Lot For Christmas There Is Just One Thing I Need And I Don’t Care About The Presents

Christmas is coming. You know how I can tell? My sister R sent me a text this morning. Nope scratch that. R sent me 8 texts while I was driving to work (before 8 am) and another 4 within a few hours of me arriving to work, all related to what I should get her family for this upcoming holiday. Let me remind you that this is my super religious sister who told me she would not attend my next wedding due to her deep Christian beliefs… before I had even decided to divorce E. No I wasn’t engaged and planning a wedding, nor was I even dating anyone (still not but that’s the story of my life). She just felt it was her place to let me know her stance…because religion and all that. (about that R story here = Nobody Said It Was Easy. No One Ever Said It Would Be This Hard

So when I got her texts suggesting what I get her kids and husband for Christmas, I was just like, R… back off. I understand that you are literally the most frugal person to ever exist on the face of the earth, but I am a struggling single mom of two children who hasn’t even figured out if I can celebrated a decent Christmas with my own kids, let alone buy for my extended family, so just step the fuck off. If I want to buy for your 4 kids (yes my nieces, but just bare with me here) then I will ask you what they want/need, I don’t need you plying me with unwanted/needed pressure right now. Besides, I thought you of all people would be gung ho about the whole “reason for the season” shit. You know? Jesus and the birth of Christ stuff? The whole God you follow whole heartedly enough to kick me while I’m down and put me on blast about all his rules regarding divorce and crap? What are his rules about gift giving over his sons birth or commandments about being greedy?

There’s got to be some boundaries somewhere!  R, I believe Jesus Christ the Saviour of your world only received 3 gifts on this holiday, and that’s without providing an extensive list. Three presents is something R and her husband J can give their children without providing extended family a wishlist. And I can guarantee the big J.C. didn’t get a pair of fuzzy onesies when he made his debut into the world, like they are asking for.

It’s just beyond annoying when people use religion as a crutch when convenient. Or jump on the bandwagon when that belief suits their need in that moment. I’m sick of the consumerism built up all around us, holidays or not. Do you even know why your celebrating this year? Or are you just thankful for the day off? If that’s your reason, then let it be your reason. Be happy to take some well needed R&R and just treat yourself to some family time if that’s what your into, or indulge in WAYYYY to much to eat if that’s what you need. You can enjoy quietly without choosing to berate people who celebrate a birthday thousands of years ago if that’s not your thing, just do your own celebrating however you decide, there’s no need to mock them or belittle others of any religion.

But for the love of everything good, just pick one and stand by it. Be true to you and who you are. It doesn’t have to come at the expense of others. You can have strong beliefs, that’s amazing. It also doesn’t have to become something extravagant and ridiculous until you are so caught up in it, that you don’t even remember why you are “enjoying” the holiday in the first place.

Take the time to figure out what you believe, or if you haven’t yet, decide what you want to believe.

What do you want to celebrate.

And then do it. Live it. Celebrate it thoroughly and truly every day.

But just remember, each individual must choose for themselves.

And for the love of everything good and sane, don’t ever assume someone is going to buy you a present.


-Mariah Carey / All I Want For Christmas-

What’s Love Got To Do, Got To Do With It What’s Love But A Second Hand Emotion / Who Needs A Heart When A Heart Can Be Broken

So tomorrow is Valentines Day. And while I have no plans other than work (obviously) Z is over the moon excited, for reasons I’ve yet to figure out.

Last week I bought cheap valentines from the Dollar store for my kids to fill out with some chocolate hearts for Little E to give out to his class as well. We finally had a chance this weekend to fill out the cards and Z was thrilled! She just kept talking about how she was SOOOO excited to give the cards to her friends and to have so much fun. It was actually adorable. Little E on the other hand was more difficult to read.

For starters his teacher didn’t make up a list of names of the kids in his his class, because we all know what a stellar instructor/joy in general she is. So Little E is struggling to think of all the kids names. I told him don’t worry about it. There’s no way his teacher can fault him for not giving everyone a card if she didn’t provide a list. So I told him to just give a card to the kids he wanted to, or at least the ones he remembered. I know that’s probably not the best suggestion, but to be honest, now-a-days, kids will be getting so many valentines, I highly doubt if they notice that they don’t receive one from Little E. So he made a few cards for some kids at school and then even went ahead and made some for a couple of the kids at his daycare which I thought was cute.

I did push slightly, and ask him if there was anyone special he wanted to make a valentine for. You know. A certain someone? But nope. He didn’t budge. He said no. I’m literally at a loss.

When do little boys start liking little girls? I grew up with all girls. ALL GIRL ERRRRYTHAAANG. So I have no clue when to even start looking for certain signs. His dad is a dead end. My dad is just, well we don’t have chats like that. And now I’ve exhausted all my options. Other than to try my best to keep the lines of communication as open as possible between Little E and myself. But let’s be honest, how long is that going to last. He’s a guy. Who is going to want to talk about intimate guy stuff. Stuff I really don’t have much knowledge about. So I’m well aware I’m going to struggle/fail in that area of parenting. Thus another reason kids were meant to have 2 parents. So my question is what am I supposed to do for him, when he needs a MAN to talk to? I can’t fucken Google everything!

Z on the other hand, has been excited since Saturday about Valentines day. She insisted that she bring her cards to daycare yesterday just so that they were there and ready to go. She’s also been planning her outfit since last Friday, when she found out that the teachers wanted them to wear red or pink. So far she has it narrowed down to 2-3 choices but that could all change once we get home tonight and have to actually decide and lay it out. Oh to be a 4 year old girl again. Literally zero cares in the world.

As for me… I’m leaning on Little E’s side. I also feel like there’s nothing to be excited about. Of course I got my kids a little treat to show them I love them, but I know by now not to expect anything from anyone, and therefore it’s just another day.

Thrown in among the rest for me.

I am considering though, doing something a little more special for Z (and therefore little E by proxy), just because she is so excited about the “holiday.” So if you see an extra bouquet of flowers around our house, you can rest assured that I bought it for her, and I don’t have some secret admirer out there… not that that thought crossed your head anyways.


-Tina Turner/What’s Love Got To Do With It-

Him An’ His Christmas Spirit Are Really A Lotta Bunk I’ll Have To Bust My Ass For Another Year Just To Pay For All This Junk

So, the other night I was wrapping Christmas presents for my kids after they went to sleep, and it came time to label them, and I started getting pissed off.

Pissed off because I worked hard for the money used to buy those gifts. I spent my days off going shopping for those presents. I kept lists throughout the year of what my kids needed/would like, so that I would know what the perfect gifts would be. But now, as I go to label them, and have to sign the “from” part… I have to write Santa on most of them.

So some imaginary fat dude in a red suit gets all the credit for my hard work? Yeah, that pisses me off.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all for the idea of ‘the holidays.’ Of people gathering together, exchanging gifts as a token of love for one other. Spending time with family and friends you haven’t seen in too long. Indulging in far to much alcohol and baked goods etc. Enjoying the sparkling lights against the dark winter sky. All that stuff, I’m for. But the Santa shit? Why? Why can’t we get into the spirit of joy and festivity without lying to our children? Why can’t we just spend time together and have time off work to celebrate life and each other, without all the fake… everything? Why can’t we just have this time of year for looking back, reflecting, and enjoying life. Sure I’m okay with gift giving, although not to the extreme extent that most people take it, but a small exchange to show you appreciate someone? I think that’s more than reasonable. A big meal surrounded by people you love? Totally do-able. But to infiltrate our kids minds with lies, when they look to us to be a guide, a source of truth? That’s just inhumane.

Like, way to set your kids up to never believe you again. To them, you’ll become the boy who cried wolf. They’ll start questioning everything you’ve ever taught them, and rightfully so.

Santa? Not true.

The Easter Bunny? Lie.

The Tooth Fairy? Jokes on you, and on it goes.

So I don’t see why we can’t just be honest to our kids. Ya know… there’s this thing we could try where we treat them like actual humans for once? With though processes that start now and will form the adults they will become. The ones that will inherit this world. They’ll believe what we tell them, so why can’t we tell them the truth?

Why do we feel so pressured to continue a ridiculous lie that I’m willing to bet 95% of you don’t even know where it started from…

I’ll tell you why. Because when one of us attempts to tell our kids the truth (yep, me telling Little E Santa’s a farce) every year, each year they get caught up in all the hype of the other kids at school or day care etc, so it’s like trying to hold back a massive tidal wave with your bare hands. Impossible. They understand when you first tell them, and then the confusion sets in when they are literally bombarded from every direction starting in November of some overweight senior dressed in red with a white beard.

So, all I’m asking is, for the sake of every other single mom/dad out there, who not only worked hard for the gifts she bought her kids, but more importantly because I want my kids to be raised in the truth, that you thoughtfully consider how you approach the holidays in the future.

Do you want your kids to think its all about the red suit? Or maybe, just maybe, have them value something more.

I know what I’m working towards. But I also know I can’t do it alone.


P.S. Check out the new post on www.thebirthoflove.ca


-Rudolph & The Gang/Here Comes Fatty Clause-

Our Finest Gifts We Bring/To Lay Before The King/I Am A Poor Boy Too/I Have No Gift To Bring/Shall I Play For You

IMG_3643

So this is Little E’s Christmas list this year. The list came about after he would continually talk about things he would like for Christmas (actually it was probably the same couple things over and over but to be honest I was hardly paying attention… opps), so I suggested he write a list for “Santa” and we could even maybe mail it to him.

Which is when my very clever boy asked if Santa is even real. Little E has asked this question this year and the previous 2 years. And each time he asks, I tell the truth. That no, Santa is not real, but it is a fun idea and little kids enjoy the excitement of the idea of him, so lets let them continue to believe. So then he asked who really brings the presents? And I asked him who does he think? And he said me (mom), and so I said yes, you’re right.

Which led to him asking why I would suggest he write a letter to “Santa” and who we would mail it to? So I told him that since I do buy the gifts, I still need an idea of what he would like, and the mailing part is just for fun, part of the whole santa idea. Pretty much the same conversation we had last year about it.

He took it really well and when we got home, he headed up to his room and emerged with this beautiful list. A list that makes me think I’m doing parenting right.

  1. A fish pal – One of his gold-fish recently died on a suicide mission, by jumping out of the bowl. Eli mentioned one morning one of his fish was missing, but I was like no way, it’s got to be in the bowl. But when he insisted, I told him I would look later that afternoon. I spent SOOO long looking for it, under the dresser, in the dresser drawers, even digging around in the bottom of the fishbowl. the whole time terrified I would actually find a dead fish.  I finally found it in the garbage can, all the way at the other side of the dresser, and truly believed that the fish had dove out the bowl, flopped allllllll the way across the long double drawer dresser to its final demise in the garbage can. It’s like we had our own Finding Nemo escape moment. I was blown away. So I go to tell Eli that I found his fish, and that it’s quite an amazing story, but unfortunately ends with the fish dead… and he interrupts me. Saying yeah, he found the fish on the floor right beneath the bowl, so he had picked it up and threw it out.  For a minute I was sad my theory on how the fish got into the garbage was wrong, but also so impressed little E handled it like it was no big deal. Anyways, so now he wants another fish so the remaining one isn’t lonely
  2. Nintendo Land CD
  3. Wii U – Which I’ve been told they don’t make anymore or something like that. So I suggested to him, that maybe we get some new games for his DS that he got last Christmas, he was A-Okay with that.
  4. Party with my family – Like seriously doesn’t this just melt your heart?
  5. To see if we are going to a new home – So I’ve explained to the kids (although Z really doesn’t care) about Kelowna. And I think little E is just ready to get it done.
  6. To wish people a great time- OMG like I love this kid
  7. Cookie decorating – I can totally arrange this
  8. A big home – Like I said, he knows we’re moving, but as sweet and kind as your list is buddy, I can’t afford a big home. But I can promise you it will be safe and warm and full of love.
  9. To teach me good manners – Honest to god he wrote this list himself with no influence from me. Well no influence at the time, but I’ve obviously been an influence in his life to make him. a 7-year-old boy, ask for good manners for Christmas.
  10. A boy – I asked him what this one meant. He said he wants a baby boy in our family… Ummmm. Sorry hun, I can’t get you that for Christmas. And then he suggested that maybe Aunty N, who’s pregnant can have a boy. Phew, as long as you’re not asking for a little brother, because my hands are tied on that one lol.

 

Anyways, on the way back from the gym tonight I was talking to him some more about his list and how it was very thoughtful and not greedy, and I was very proud of him. He turned around and said “but it is greedy, I asked for 10 things”

Oh Little E, but the things you asked for are not all THINGS. They weren’t just stuff. You have learned a very important lesson about whats important in life, and that is that people and time and love, all those experiences, are much more valuable, and more important and can make you much happier than just stuff, or toys, or games.  And that was reflected in your list. You showed that you were not being greedy by wanting to wish others a great time, or spend time with your family, or even by wanting to better yourself with good manners. All those are the opposite of being greedy. You are turning yourself to the world to try to make the world a better place instead of trying to constantly see what you can get from the world.

I told him I hope he never looses that value, and that love that he’s shown in that letter.

And I hope I can continue to point my children in what I feel is the right direction.


-Little E’s Fav Christmas Song/Drummer Boy-