Thursday, December 1, 2011

Of Monsters and Other Things.

I don't remember exactly when it happened. I suspect it was a gradual growth process. I don't know if she even knows she did it but...

My Mother created a Christmas Monster!
(no disrespect intended Mom)

Perhaps it is because she loves us all so much that she did it. Perhaps it is she wants to be loved. I hope it isn't because she thinks that gifts are how we show love. More gifts=more love. No, that can't be it. Nevertheless, she created it and passed the monster on to me.

But this year, I am giving it back.

I don't know when it happened for me either. (Keep in mind my monster is not anywhere as big as my Mom's monster, nor as expensive) In the past several years there have been many additions to my gift list. A son-in-law, three granddaughters and now two other men in the family. Add in my 4 girls, my husband and family members and that is a whole lot of gifts! As luck would have it, all four daughters birthdays are in November to January too.

Back to my story, I don't know when I went from a gift for each person to more gifts and more expensive gifts and $$$. You understand. Each year we spent more and more and more. I would usually ask them all for a list of what they wanted and tried my best to get a good part of the gifts. Silly when you think of it. Here is my list, please buy these things. Not really my idea of giving a gift to someone you love. (Note also, my girls are not the "get this or else" type of girls. In fact, they would be satisfied with whatever I got them. Well, most of them would. ;) )  It was all me. All my doing. My husband is absolved as he has no idea what we get  and for whom.  So like I said, this year I am giving the monster back.

Without going into the details much so as not to give anything away, this year I chose the gifts that I wanted them to have. Carefully chose. I am hoping it will mean more to them than checking things of their list.  I am sure it will. I am taking all expectations out of the equation. I am giving them their chosen gift because I love them and I think they will love the gift. Pure heart, best intentions.

And from this holiday on I will have released myself from unrealistic expectations. The very expectations that only I put on myself.

(PS My mother buys gifts for around 30 people and spends thousands of dollars! On a retired persons income. I don't know how she does it?)