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The Holidays.

Tis the season…

For what though, people to lose their minds? Is it me or has this gotten out of control? With the stores now saying they are opening actually on thanksgiving day, I can only wonder if will just be a matter of time before we do away with the turkey and football and just make Thanksgiving the first national shopping day of a four day national shopping long weekend.

So why is this a fatherhood post? Because we have to raise our kids through this season every year, and hope that they don’t get caught up in the madness and greed. I’m Jewish so I never really participated in this. Yeah, we got Chanukah presents and we definitely looked forward to them, but it’s not a major holiday comparatively to other Jewish holidays, and we weren’t always expecting the latest thing. My wife is Christian and so unlike me she was more exposed to this, but times have changed and it’s not what she remembers. Because it’s her holiday I’ve chosen to leave it up to her how we do Christmas. This was easy for me because I already knew what she would want. She decided that we weren’t going to make Christmas a big present thing but rather focus on the season of giving aspect. Unlike me, she is really big on birthdays and believes that’s the more appropriate time to celebrate him and give him the most special things he will get each year, not Christmas.

Still, it’s hard to take this stance on the holidays when everyone else doesn’t. We really appreciate the intentions people have when they express desire in buying my son gifts and don’t want to seem ungrateful. When my mom asked what she should get my son, I told her to give us money toward our plan to participate in his school’s Angel Tree program, and she did. It was harder for me to tell her not to last year because she naturally wanted to buy her only grandson a gift. In a few weekends, we will go to a toy drive to donate some toys. I want him to be the one to physically put the toys in the collection bin. He’s only two now, so I’m not sure how much of the exercise he will understand, but I think it will be good to set the precedent early.

I hope I’m not being too much of a Scrooge or anything. I think it’s great that people want to give loved ones gifts. I just think that somewhere along the way the system of greed tainted all of that. The perception I get from the whole thing is that if you’re not buying new TVs, game consoles, and diamond rings then you’re not doing it good enough.  When people feel like they HAVE to spend, and have to do it on thanksgiving day to get the best deal, something is wrong to me.

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  1. November 21, 2012 at 8:57 am

    Great post! I don’t think you’re anything like a Scrooge in this. For years, I have felt that this season has become way too commercialized and we have tried a few different ways of celebrating. We’ve never put much emphasis on the holiday as a time for getting a bunch of stuff and it’s had some unexpected, but pleasant, side-effects. While when i was a kid, Christmas could not come fast enough and I was up WAY too early for anyone else, my kids don’t have that anticipation and they sleep in as if it were a normal day. they get excited when we give them stuff, but it’s not a focus.
    We’ve done homemade gifts before for those outside our immediate family who we want to give to and I think we’ll do it again this year. I think it’s a great way to let them know we’re thinking of them without delving into the commercialism of the season.
    Thanks for the post!

    • November 21, 2012 at 6:20 pm

      Thanks for reading and the reply. RE: the Scrooge comment, I wanted to try to convey that I don’t think everyone who does the gift thing does it wrong, you being a good example of that.

  2. Ask A Great Dad
    November 26, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    It is out of control, I worked retail for a long time and know all the little tricks. It has become about money & greed and the corporations are laughing all the way to the bank.

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