I have never,
and I mean never, been into Christmas. My reasons are varied. The reality is,
my Christmas memories aren’t great. And as an adult, there were a lot of
Christmases I spent alone, not really feeling like I had family to spend the
holidays with. My Grinch-like spirit only got worse when I found out I may never have
children. Watching all my friends celebrate with their kids and wondering
if I would ever be able to do the same made the holidays feel a bit like a
knife to the heart for me.
But this year,
for the first time ever, I have gotten into the spirit. I bought us a real tree
and I hung our stockings with care. Christmas carols have been playing in our
home for days and all my shopping is done. We even have a little elf, who
admittedly has mostly been hanging out in the tree—but hey, she’s there. And
I am reading Christmas books to my girl every single night, even sharing with
her some of the Christmas movie classics I don’t particularly remember seeing as
a kid. Having a toddler will do that to you—she has brought the Christmas
spirit out in me. And I’m actually having a lot of fun with it!
So imagine how
disheartening it is that every single time I open up my Internet browser these
days, I come across some article written by some mother telling me how I’m
doing it all wrong—and how I'm traumatizing the heck out of my girl
as a result of my ineptitude.
I have a long-standing history of being a Grinch. I’m the last person you would think would be standing up for the sanctity of this holiday season. But seriously, guys, chill.
just because this is the first year I have cared, but I suddenly feel like
there is so much negativity cropping up surrounding Christmas and how other
families celebrate. There are people admonishing those who perpetuate the Santa myth,
thereby “lying” to their kids; those who “traumatize” their little ones by
subjecting them to Santa photos; anyone who gives presents, because after all,
that shouldn’t be what the season is about; people who go overboard with things
like cookie decorating or Advent calendars. And let’s not forget the worst
offenders of them all: those damn Elf on a Shelf Pinterest showoffs. How dare they post elaborate pictures of the
elf scenes they create every day, when the rest of us are lucky if we can even
remember to move ours?
I know I can’t
be the only one who has noticed all this nastiness. Or that it is usually,
sadly, directed at those who seem to otherwise enjoy the holiday season the
most. Self-righteous mommies tell them they are doing it all wrong, likely
irreparably harming their children as a result.
And I’ve got
to admit, I find it baffling.
understand why all things that are Christmas have now become such an integral part of
the mommy wars. Or why it seems that those who get the most excited about the
season and creating magic around the holidays for their kids are the ones we
seem most intent on killing the spirits of. I can’t help but wonder if that
part, at least, is more about easing our own insecurities. I mean, doesn’t that
make the most sense? Otherwise, why do you care what anyone else is doing with
their elf? How does that even affect you? If your old college roommate wants to
go all out, why not give her props for having the energy to do so, rather than
tearing her down in an effort to make yourself feel better?
I’m all for
discussions along the lines of, “This is how we do it, what about you?” What
I’m not about is the, “This is how we do it, and if you don’t do it the same,
you’re destroying your kid’s childhood” conversations. Because, seriously?
What is wrong with you people?
Shut up! Keep your negativity to yourselves. It’s really bringing down the
mood. Like, everywhere.
For my part, we’ll be singing carols, playing with the elf, taking tear-filled Santa photos and perpetuating the lie for at least a few years ... And I’ll be damned if I’m going to let anyone make me feel bad about that.
I have a long-standing
history of being a Grinch. I’m the last person you would think would be
standing up for the sanctity of this holiday season. But seriously, guys,
chill. Pour yourselves a glass (or 12) of eggnog and breathe. These are first-world problems we are talking about. We’ve got riots happening around the
country, kids bringing guns to schools, and nearly
50 million Americans unsure of where their next meal is coming from. But
you’re going to get your panties in a bunch over your neighbors down the street
laughing about the picture of their child crying on Santa’s lap? The same kid
who was likely just fine 30 seconds later, sucking on a candy cane and waving
goodbye to the man in red? This is
what you are going to put your energy into trying to change?
We have a way of being nasty to each other. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
And it certainly shouldn’t be that way during the holidays when that “spirit”
is supposed to be all about spreading love and light.
So why don’t
you start focusing on you, and what works in your house, without worrying so
much about what everyone else is doing.
For my part,
we’ll be singing carols, playing with the elf, taking tear-filled Santa photos
and perpetuating the lie for at least a few years. Because that’s all part of
the Christmas I always imagined in my mind when I pictured having kids. And
I’ll be damned if I’m going to let anyone make me feel bad about that—or
about my lack of creativity when it comes to staging that elf or decorating
those cookies. I know who I am and what my limitations are, but I also know
what I can provide. And I know that
our Christmas memories are going to be something pretty spectacular, no matter
what you Internet Grinches have to say about it.