Thursday, December 6, 2012

Ode to Toys

The excellence of a gift lies in its appropriateness rather than in its value.
~Charles Dudley Warner

 Ho, Ho, Ho only 20 more days to go.  That's two and a half weeks.  Yikes.  Guess I better start being good and hope that Santa will forget about the rest of the year.  My children also need to start being extra good and hope that he'll forget about the transgressions of the past year.  Not that there were that many.  Or that they were terribly severe.  It never hurts to put in a little extra effort just to be safe.  

I have been working at cleaning out my house.  Kind of.  I went through the bins of stored clothing in the basement, and 2/3 of the childrens' dressers have been gone through.  Summer stuff and too small stuff moved out, winter stuff and stuff that fits moved in.  I started going through the toys, but I shortly found myself on the verge of a mental breakdown, so I quit for the time being.  I'll have to get that done soon.  There are things in the basement that none of them have touched in the past couple years; and really, I probably played with the Little People stuff more than they did.  (It was one of my favorite things to do as a child, but somehow they never found them as appealing as I did.)  We have books coming out of our ears.  I need to go through those as well.  The good ones I pass on to other kids, and the really horrible ones get dumped.

So I was a smidge crabby this morning as I sorted through an accumulation of stuff that we don't use.  Or want.  Or take very good care of.  Why in the world would I add to this mess with some Christmas presents that probably won't be remembered a year from now?  I got a little Grinch-y.  And then I remembered being a kid at Christmas.  We didn't get toys and clothes except for birthdays and Christmas.  Unless they were hand-me-downs; and those were generally an unexpected thrill.  My kids don't get much either, unless it's hand-me-downs or they buy it themselves.  They don't get a lot from us or Santa for Christmas, so I should just quit my grumbling.  In a month, I may get to pick some new socks off of the floor instead of just the grungy old ones.  

I'm going with the one thing way this year.  One thing you want, one thing you need, one thing to wear, one thing to read, and one thing they really truly want.  Ahhh, at least one of those things doesn't make me feel like a Scrooge.  Books.  But which onesThe girls are 11,9 (almost), and five.  Which books to choose?  Oh, I can spend a lot of time looking online, but it isn't nearly as fun as shopping in person for books.  Then I can read the 5-year-old's book to make sure it isn't one I'll hate reading.  In years past I always have a great idea for reads, but this year I don't.  They've checked out so many library books, and read so many books in school that I can't keep track of what they haven't read yet.  This means a trip to the bookstore.  I will gladly spend time in a bookstore.  

And with that, the Christmas spirit hits me.  The Grinch is gone, replaced by a book lovin' momma who wants to share some literary joy with her children. 

If you have any good suggestions for books, please share them!!  I don't believe I'm the only one who could use them! 

Christmas is for children.  But it is for grown-ups too.  Even if it is a headache, a chore, and nightmare, it is a period of necessary defrosting of chill and hide-bound hearts.  
~Lenora Mattingly Weber

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