Well, Christmas day has come and gone but the joy I felt from experiencing that day with my son is still alive in my heart. I have always vowed to never allow myself to get wrapped up in the commercial value of Christmas. When I was single I would always preach to anyone who would listen how irresponsible it was of parents to buy so many things for their children and not teach them the true meaning of the holiday. Although my philosophy hasn’t changed I do realize that this rule is very difficult to follow now that I am a parent. What makes it so hard is the fact that you love this being in your life so much and you want to see them happy. Therefore, you want to supply them with everything you may not have had in your life it isn’t done in efforts to buy their love but truly just to show them yours. My husband and I are both aware of the dangers that come along with giving your child too much and we will continue to keep a close eye on what values we are instilling in our children. However, nothing can beat that squeal of joy when they see their presents in the distance. The love, joy and excitement that you feel as a parent is beyond description, it’s priceless.
So, in our efforts to keep the focus of the holiday season on peace, love and spending time with family, as well as the biblical meaning of Christmas, we attempted to keep our purchases down to a bare minimum. Fat chance of that happening when you start your shopping for one child before the Thanksgiving holiday arrives. Not to mention the fact that our child had already collected numerous gifts on his birthday the week before. But once you walk into a store and see all the wondrous things that make children smile, you can’t help but lose yourself a little. The really nice thing about this age is that we were able to buy his presents with him shopping with us (I realize those days are numbered). This tool really comes in handy at the store when you aren’t sure if your child will like a particular toy-you just let him play with it while you walk down the aisle, then distract him with another toy and quickly throw the item in the basket. I have to say that we did a fairly good job of not going overboard-until we came across the tricycle.
We had decided early on that our big gift would be a tricycle that could be substituted as a stroller until he was old enough to peddle. We initially saw the perfect gift for a price of; let’s just say fewer than fifty dollars. Well, after my husband completed his research on every imaginable multi-use tricycle (that’s what he does on all the products we buy-there are pros and cons to this tactic which will be discussed in a future article), we finally decided on the perfect model and I must admit it has great features. He will be able to use it until he is 3 (if it lasts that long), it has a seatbelt and rear steering for the parent (not sure how I will be able to help push him while carrying a crying infant at the same time) and a foot rest that he can use until he can reach the pedals. I am sure you wouldn’t be shocked to know that this fancy new tricycle with all the bells and whistles also came at a hefty price increase, let’s just say that we are no longer in the two numeral price range. But hey, you get what you pay for, right? I guess that’s why my husband and I decided to forgo presents for each other this year-please don’t tell me we are setting a precedent for years to come.
Anyway, despite all these obstacles, there was no better sight than the delight on my child’s face while he was sitting on his new tricycle on Christmas morning. There really should be a beginners course for parent to educate you on all the do’s and don’ts during your preparations for Christmas day (hmm , future article perhaps ?). We didn’t realize that we should open and assemble all the gifts prior to our child waking up. This rule is important because we were unaware that it takes skills like MacGyver to open most toy packages these days. Not to mention the mess you make with the wrapping paper, styrofoam and plastic while attempting to get to one small toy. Next year-toys will be assembled the night before and therefore our child will not have the option of playing with the boxes, bows and containers instead of the expensive gifts that you have purchased.
All in all it was a great day and I wouldn’t trade my son’s smile or happiness for anything else, not even a new elliptical exercise machine for myself (that’s what I would have asked Santa for this year). I just hope years from now when he is old enough to have his own family he will look back fondly at the memories of his holidays with me and his father and try to recreate those times. As long as you give with the right intent and your child is taught to do the same, I don’t think you can go wrong as a parent because a gift can never replace love.