I have never been keen on the consumerism associated with Christmas. Without wishing to sound ungrateful, I’m not particularly enamored with either giving or receiving gifts. It always seems a little bit false.
Gifts tend to be things that are bought for the sake of it, unless there is actually something that someone really wants or needs, in which case I am more than happy to buy it for them. The point is though, I don’t really care what time of year it is, if I know there is something that somebody wants and I can buy it or make it for them, I’ll happily do it.
This year, I bought birthday presents for my brother and all of my sisters at completely random times during the year. In fact, one of my sisters had her present in the summer for her birthday next April. Although that meant that they didn’t get anything from me on their birthdays, they all had things that they wanted when they wanted them, which seemed much better to me.
When it comes to the children, it is easy to forget how little they really need and that sometimes the little things that we take forgranted are all they really want. They both had some great presents this Christmas that they love. Lots of things to play with and around fifty books. There won’t be a moment of boredom for a good few months.
Today though, three things have happened that have made me realise that the material things don’t mean much to more to them than they do to me.
When we were walking back from my mum’s house today, Libby spotted a tiny park. All her materialistic wants for watching her new DVD’s, playing with new toys and eating chocolate disappeared immediately and both girls spent time just giggling and enjoying themselves together on the roundabout and the slide.
Later on, the girls woke up from their afternoon nap when I was just in the middle of a bit of work. I went into the room to see them and explained to Libby that I would just need a couple more minutes before I came to get them up. I asked if she wanted a book or a toy to play with while she waited. Her answer was priceless. “No, I just want Lia.”
The final thing that has made me realise how unmaterialistic young children are was Libby’s answer to my question about what she wanted to do tomorrow. With pretty much a free choice, Libby wanted to either to go one stop on the train and have a milkshake or go and see some animals. She is still deciding between these two things but whatever we do, it will cost next to nothing and she will have a wonderful time.
So perhaps my inexplicable resentment of materialistic gift buying isn’t so daft after all.