Last year I spent Christmas afternoon venting to my mother about what a spoiled brat my son was being that day. I have no memory of what he did to set me off, but I remember being really pissed. I also distinctly remember swearing to the heavens that next Christmas would not be the same. I wanted to start volunteering our time, talking more to BW about giving to others, about how lucky we are to be healthy and housed and fed and safe and secure. I was thinking today that I failed to do this, but then I realized I was wrong.
BW and I have talked a lot about how lucky our family is and how thankful we should be for the things we have. We volunteered our home, love, and time to take in my newborn nephew for the first seven months of his life while his mom served jail and prison rehab time, which ended in tears thanks to my crazy bitch of an ex-sister-in-law. (I'm not bitter. I'm not bitter. I'm not bitter.)
So today when my friend mentioned that another family they know was "giving away" their Christmas to a family that needed it more, I thought it sounded like a very cool idea. I wasn't sure BW would go for it, and we had already scoured the toy catalogs and talked about gifts this year. I figured he'd be really upset, and I wasn't sure I was prepared to do that to him after getting him all hyped about the holiday.
I was pleasantly surprised. We talked about how we have so much already and about how we tend to buy gifts for each other and toys year round just because. We talked about what Christmas is really supposed to be about and how there are so many others out there who are in need. And BW said he thought it was a great idea. He said it would be hard for him to not get any presents since he was already so excited about it, but he wanted to give our Christmas away, too. We decided we would all sit down as a family and decide exactly what we wanted to do, and then make sure to do it all together.
MM is on board with it so we'll be doing some thinking over t-day weekend. We're going to AZ for the holiday, so we'll have a nice, lonnnggg car ride to discuss it. But this year I'm really looking forward to Christmas. I'm excited about starting a new tradition. I'm excited to spend December thinking about others, instead of just our immediate family and friends. We've been bad about this in the past. I'm looking forward to a whole different holiday experience.
I think it'll probably be rough on BW when all his friends get gifts and he doesn't, but I think he really wants to do this and he'll get through the difficult bits. And let's face it, Christmas has become a holiday celebrating consumerism, it'll be good for us to take some time off once a year.