Is This a Bad Time To Tell Him That We're Jewish?
Because this Christmas List thing isn't working for me in this economy. Yeah, I know that Christmas is about love and family and well, I suppose, Jesus, but are more Reformed than Orthodox, so it's pretty much a gift exchange for us. So, I'm the only Jewish one in our family, and even I am only one half Jewish (and the wrong half at that--my mama is a shiksa!), but if we are relying on stereotypes (it's easy and fun! you know that you want to! everyone's doing it!) this Jewish thing could be a real money saver! We could get rid of Christmas and celebrate Channukah, which, if memory serves, requires only a few wooden dreidels, some chocolate gelt and the promise of a nose job "when you're old enough".
The other thing about this list is that my son wrote it with a lime green Sharpie and I almost passed out from the fumes.
But it's not just about the economy. Or the stereotypes. It's about my struggling to strike a balance between the Christmas list and the reality that I want for my children. I want them to ask me for books. I want them to ask me for educational toys. I want them to ask me to donate toys in their names to underprivileged children. I want those things for them even though I never wanted those things for me.
Of course he is not going to get everything on the list, and he knows that. But the items that trouble me the most are the electronics--the XBox, the PSP and the Playstation. I'm not sure what they are and why kids need more than one system. I'm worried that I'm becoming a "back in my day" old fartinka. My son was the last of his friends to get a Wii this year. They all got it for Christmas, and he got it six months later, on his birthday, rather than Jesus'. I thought that I was proving a principle--you don't just get things because you want them for no reason, he thought that he was being punished--everyone else had one. And I'm not sure that I was in the right. I spent the months that he was Wii-less fervently scheduling playdates with Wii-enhanced kids. But perhaps that's the lesson that I will ultimately teach my children: if you don't have, learn to borrow. Because certainly that can't lead to any problems. I'm blaming the lime Sharpie fumes.