A little Merry Christmas to you, lovelies.
I hope it was bright and gay, jolly and merry, and all those lovely old words that the modern world has somehow rendered rude or embarrassingly outdated.
In many ways, it was a lovely day at Chez M-G. Presents and family and good food. But also, non-sharing kids, exhaustion and a leaking roof.
The usual mixed with the completely not usual.
Just to be clear, we are in the middle of summer here so a freak hailstorm? Strange indeed. I was having a little nap when it hit and the sound of the giant hailstones upon our roof was like waking up to Armageddon. It was deafening.
The boys had never seen anything like it so they were seriously buzzed. Then the torrential rain came and with it, a leaking roof. I was significantly less buzzed by this stage.
A crazy Christmas t'was this one. And the last one we will have as a family of four.
So that was two days ago and the kids got more presents than they knew what to do with. From the moment the sound of ripping paper tore a hole in the still air of Christmas morning, it was a frenzy. I did not enjoy it. Didn't enjoy watching my kids burn through their gifts, barely stopping to acknowledge what they had received but looking for more, always more.
I like to think we teach them the value of things and we're definitely careful about not spoiling them. But there was very little joy or wide-eyed wonder this Christmas morning. Just two little boys with a bad case of the 'gimmes.'
I am hoping it's just an age thing…?
Two days after the present opening horror, I was back at the shopping mall buying more toys. I stood in line, credit card in hand and shook my head.
I bought the boys Christmas gifts in the July toy sales. At that time, Luca was three and Ziggy one and a half. The age gap still felt significant. Just six short months later, that gap has closed dramatically as evidenced by them fighting over toys that one received and the other didn't.
It really pissed on the Christmas spirit, let me tell you.
So today I purchased another of the two most divisive toys so that they would each have one. I knew as I was doing it that it was a terrible precedent to set, that I was possibly making things worse but both Bren and I agreed that we could not stand the fighting. Again, I am hoping this behaviour is kind of typical for brothers who are four and two years old, that they will grow out of it eventually.
But I can't help feeling that we alone are raising entitled shitheads. Did the gimme monster invade your child's personality on Christmas Day? Or are we just royally fucking this gig up?
I don't know. But next year? Matching gifts will be the order of the (Christmas) day.
Oh babe – this is why Erin and I (and close relo’s) bought EXACT same gifts for Jed and Charlie, and Ella and Leila. SOOO not worth the fighting. Much easier for gift-buyers and for keeping Mumma and Auntie sane.
LOVE your pics. Looks like such a lovely, fun-filled family day. Something special that you’ll always remember.
And how cute are you in your apron!
We have had a case of the ‘Christmas Gimmes’, and wanting more in the sales today. We have been calling 10 year old Ed ‘Imelda’ and then had to explain what that meant (surf shoes, not women’s shoes!). He has a passion for shoes that one! But Archie, bless him, did say on Christmas Day ‘This is the first time I have asked Santa for something and actually got it!!’. Oh dear…
Thanks, babe. Yep, I think it totally makes sense.
I know that at their ages, it’s almost impossible for them to truly absorb the idea of sharing or the real meaning of Christmas. They are still very firmly placed in the ‘world revolves around me” stage of development.
But they should be warned – that excuse won’t fly forever and at some point, they will need to learn some gratitude or they’ll get fucking potatoes in their Christmas stockings.
The apron is a thing of beauty, isn’t it? A Christmas present from Bren’s mum…maybe my favourite gift of all!
Oh, bless your little Imelda! Who can blame him? Shoes are lovely.
As for Archie, I love his passive-aggressive dig at Santa. I think you just got served, Mum!
I hear ya! 🙁 Miss 7 TOTALLY had a case of the gimmies! Wrapping was done at 5am Christmas eve morning due to Master Toddler being sick as a dog! Consequently, I was too buggered to make sure they each had the same number of gifts! Even the fact that she got the DS she’d been asking for (for 18 months) wasn’t enough to tame the savage beast!!!
Hi! This is my first time commenting on your blog although I’ve been following along for about 3 months now. I herald from SmallTown, Kansas USA and if the sucky economy did nothing else for our family it caused the gparents to quit overspending on Christmas. There just isn’t any reason for our children to get so much that we have considered hiring a moving van to get it home. This year was the first Christmas in 5 years that was what I would call reasonable and it’s also the first year that my kids didn’t have a rousing case of the gimmies. I really think that with less they appreciated what they got more.
Anywho, I love your blog (and it right now it makes me chuckle that your Christmas is in the summer, I know I’m a 12 year old at heart).
Angie, this is one of the thigns that bugs me too. My two have been right little craps since the gift giving and part of me thinks it is because they now expect every day to be Christmas day, God love ’em.
It really has just cemented my view that the more a person has, the more they feel entitled somehow. It’s not what I want them to be like.
I tend toward the conservative side on number of presents and money spent (not that I buy crap, but just a particular special toy or two, a book and bath things for their stocking). Often I find my efforts undone by the spouse who keeps buying things behind my back and putting them in. I mean we don’t have much money and here he is spending up big on Christmas? It just pushes all my buttons and not in a good way.
I’ve had a totally aggro week – not very relaxing at all and then trying to toilet train the youngest as well … that’s been a nightmare. I had planned to get some reading done but all that’s been going on is cleaning, gardening, breaking up fights and mopping up wee. I need a week off to get over the week off.
Love your hailstone pictures. That was some storm – very much what would happen in Queensland in summer. I can’t believe what it did to your peg basket!
J went out into the yard and grabbed some hailstones before they melted. They are still in our freezer. The kids were frantic during the storm, faces pressed against the glass. I made them go and watch from the other room as the sound of the hail hitting the glass made me fear for it’s structural integrity. Fortunately, nothing broke.
Impressive bird too – I had a chicken in the slow cooker and a ham. All leftovers eaten now so that’s it for another year … except a sliver of Christmas cake of course.
Now to get back on the health bandwagon: I will have to stop drinking though and at the moment, that might be a bit of a problem.
On the upside … I was gifted a nice new Kindle. Yeah, expensive and considering my earlier rant, rather hypocritical of me but I will get the money’s worth out of it and nobody will fight me for it. And I’m grateful. That’s the most important thing.
Shit! Okay, so I should expect this behaviour for a few more years yet. Sigh.
Trying to explain that a DS is worth a lot more is pretty hard with a little kid, huh? So annoying.
Hi! Thanks for being here. 🙂
I am pretty lucky in that the grandparents ask us what the kids want/need and just get that. Very easy. It would annoy me if they went overboard with the presents, too.
Yes, a white Christmas in Australia is very unusual indeed!
A friend buys presents using this little formula:
Something you want,
Something you need,
Something to wear,
Something to read.
I thought that was sooooooo nifty! I think I am going to implement it next year. Apart from anything, we have no more room for all these damn toys.
Slow cooker chicken, hey? Does that mean it doesn’t go crispy on the outside? Or could you chuck it in the oven (all nice and oiled up) for the last half hour or something? We have a pudding unopened but I can’t be effed making the brandy sauce and no way will I eat pudding without brandy sauce. So, a Mexican stand-off of sorts.
A new Kindle? Awesome. Although you do strike me as the type who likes the tactile nature of old-fashioned paper books. How are you finding it?
And finally, keep drinking. I have been dying for champagne. Perhaps even craving it. At this point, I will accept vicarious inebriation.
It’s one of those pre-seasoned and stuffed chickens and that’s how they turn out best, I’ve found. You can brown one first and then chuck it in but it’s not as good. What I like about this is the laziness factor, open package, put in slow cooker, four hours on high, set and forget.
I do like books in the old fashioned way but for some reason, this little gadget has finally dragged me into the 21st century. I dislike tech for tech’s sake but the ease of purchasing books and the portability of it is such a winner. It’s very easy to look at too. I was put off the idea of e-readers because I imagined it to be like looking at a computer. I could not have been more wrong.
Anyway, I will have another drink for you. And then another for me … oh it’s a slippery slope …
Santa leaves a pile of gifts for each of our children, but a larger pile for the family & in that pile is toys/books/dvds etc that they all might enjoy. That way, they know the deal from the get go, it’s family property.
Definitely an age thing though. My 2 year old was all about unwrapping as many presents as she could, whereas my 6.5 year old kept telling me that it was the best Christmas ever b/c she got to see her cousins (not that she doesn’t see them regularly anyway). She gives us hope that the rest of them will ‘get it’ one day.
Hi Ange…..we put ALL presents under the tree on Christmas Eve after the kids have gone to bed and in the morning ‘daddy’ likes to give them out one at a time…..it seems to take forever but what actually happens is everyone stops to see what the gift is and the ‘giver’ gets a proper thankyou from the receiver. Even Santa gets a thankyou. We have found that this works well, it keeps people calm and all gifts are acknowledged. We also have a ‘family gift’ which is something that the whole family gets pleasure from and that comes from Santa.
LOVE your photos, lovely. Looks like a sweet day was had by all! Apart from the leaking roof, that is.
I swear I could smell the hail in the air when I saw these pics. Haling (haha – sorry!) from Sydney, I’ve experienced my share of hailstorms. Even had a peg basket wind up in the same state! Anyhow, this made me a little homesick. LA does NOT do tropical summery storms, and I miss ’em, even if the resulting damage can suck sometimes. I love a good storm.
Oh, and the apron? On you, it’s perfection. x