11/23/08

Apparently it's a bigger problem than I thought

Chris says I'm wrong about this:

And to learn, as well, that a certain melancholy letdown is part of the Christmas experience, and that maturity means letting it go and realizing that what we get is not what the holiday is all about anyway.


We discussed it at length last night, and then again this morning, and it was as though we were speaking Portuguese to one another. Rather, that I was speaking Portuguese and he was speaking Dutch. In other words, there was no meeting of the minds.

To clarify -- I had happy Christmases as a child, each and every one. I got what I wanted. I was sleepless with anticipation on each Christmas Eve and went to bed satisfied each December 25th. I still remember the joy of unwrapping the Sunshine Family, and the Speak and Spell, and the Atari 5200. In addition, I learned to say thank you and I learned that giving gifts was important too. But I also learned, and I think this is what I was trying to get at last night, I learned that Christmas is not about getting absolutely EVERYTHING you could imagine wanting. I learned fairly early to...moderate my desires. To NOT ask for a trampoline, for example. Or, to use an example from my own home, to not ask for a Hannah Montana beach house AND a Hannah Montana guitar AND a Barbie cruise ship AND some Camp Rock singing dolls AND four different Webkinz AND a Pixo machine AND a Stylin Fun Studio AND a butterfly house with live cocoons. I guess that's what I need for my kids to learn (and soon!) -- that they can't ask for the world, or they WILL be disappointed. And I, myself, need to give them the chance to learn that, by not indulging their every desire.

I don't think, incidentally, that Chris disagrees with that. He thought that I was wrong about melancholy and Christmas going hand in hand. But by "melancholy" I didn't mean any great sadness or heartbreak or crushing depression. I just meant that feeling of letdown that you get when you realize that the day that you've anticipated for so long -- Christmas! -- is over after only twenty wild minutes of unwrapping. And I don't think that feeling and general Christmas satisfaction are mutually exclusive.

Does that make more sense? Less? Am I as weird as my husband thinks I am?

Ho ho ho!

2 comments:

aimee said...

That is part of any excitement. After it is over, there is a natural feeling of let down. (This is Seth's quote. I read him the post).

I wish I felt different-that melancholy and Christmas do not go hand in hand. But I feel it too. As a child, the last present unwrapped, feeling a little sad and unsure that that was exactly what I wanted and how long until the next Christmas? and not as an adult, feeling sad when the last family member goes back home, back to normal routine when you spent all month looking forward to seeing them.

But all in all, Christmas is a happy time and kids need to see that getting gifts is just a small part of it.

Anonymous said...

I think that after any kind of anticipated event, there is a letdown. I mean, we spend at least four whole weeks - or more- getting ready for Christmas, and it is over by 10:00 in the morning. Somehow, the fact that the time of anticipation is so much longer than the actual event sets us up for the letdown. It is hard for to explain, but I think it is a very human feeling. I love all of the things that go with Christmas like the decorations, the music, the preparation, and it is hard to see all of that end.

Mom