Thursday, December 27, 2007

Naked Barbies and Other Things

After a long holiday hiatus, I return to ask the question, “Why must Barbie always be naked?” I couldn’t be less of a Barbie mom, but I have the two most Barbie-loving kids on the planet. They can’t get enough and play with them constantly. I’m embarrassed to say we probably have twenty (most of them naked Barbie herself) all over the house. Well, I think the insanity of too many gifts again this year has finally pushed me over the edge; we need to sort, store, donate and throw away around here! My big plan began yesterday when I retrieved one of those big plastic bins from our basement and filled it with the new Barbie stuff and any other stray parts I saw. Yes, it will likely be full of Barbie stuff – I am hoping it will close.

Because of the multiple Christmas bags full of goodies and the unending amount of boxes requiring my attention to open, that’s as far as I got. I went from this pile to that one, trying to sort recycling from trash, to not lose pieces in the process and slowly, to get things put away. As the day trudged on, I became more frustrated even with Santa’s gifts and wondered about the significance of it all. I mean, my kids did a great job of feeling and expressing thanks for everything they received, especially Logan, she’s the perfect age and personality for it all this year. A little shy, a little greedy, super thankful, very excited and most of all, she's a true believer in the magic of it all. Every time she opened a gift and thanked the gift-giver I felt extremely proud of her. Riley kept up with the “thank you’s” as well, but they were, more... well, four year old “thank you’s”; obligations not-so-filled with heartfelt gratitude. Finn is not even worth mentioning and rightly so, at 19 months, he can’t even begin to grasp much more than the word he’s so fond of: MORE!

It all just made me wonder about what kind of job I am doing to make sure that they experience and feel gratitude for all the things they have. We are not rich, not quite comfortable, but they have so much in so many ways. I try everyday to experience gratitude for the small and big things in my life, but it is easy to get sidetracked, especially in the midst of the holiday craziness. I am also a terrible liar, totally unable to fake that I like a gift no matter how hard I try. I am so glad that focusing on gratitude, not on the gift, is working for me. I am thrilled at the thought behind it all; instead of wishing for something more thoughtful, or more “right” (these feelings are usually reserved for husband gifts unfortunately), I’m just plain grateful. (Hey, I’m just being honest – we’ve all felt that stuff, right?) I’m no where near perfect, but still a forward moving work in progress. I hope that it is rubbing off where it counts most, on the three little people who could avoid ever feeling that gift-involved frustration. Based on how Logan did, I’d say she’s got it, her daddy always has and I bet she gets it from him. As for the other two, I think they’ll get it too.

So they received far more than they needed this year, like lots of kids. It’s okay, it’s Christmas. So many of those gifts came from those seeking out the joy of giving, and they got that joy, so I need not feel guilty. And we’ll continue to give back in little ways whenever we can. We’ll focus on the feelings and not on the things. And, as we embark into 2008, we’ll try to remain filled with gratitude to the bone for all that we have been blessed with.

1 comment:

Mary said...

Loved how you captured it all (from Barbie to gratitude) and so loved the photos especially of Harley's nose in the Christmas bag!