I’ve noticed throughout my years of journaling that I tend to fall into the same rut; when I’m stressed, need to vent or some other outlet for pain, aggression, frustration, I journal. When I’m content or – gods forbid – happy, I don’t find the need to journal as much. That is the rut I’m afraid to fall into with
$75. $25 for each nephew. In most situations, I would have no problem spending this money, and in the past I never have. This year, like any other, I was sent a Christmas list for our nephews, but this year it had a twist: assigned gifts. That’s right, folks, Mom picked out what each aunt/uncle combo should buy for her boys. Way to take the creativity – the thing I find fun about gift giving – and dump it down the drain. What did my husband and I get? Bathrobes (not fleece) – seriously, where do they make non-fleece robes for kids, and what fun is that? Way to give us the gift that they toss aside saying “Auntie T & Uncle A are BO-RING”. Oh, and slippers. WHATEVER.
So instead, I got each kid a $25 Toys ‘R’ Us gift card, with which they can buy whatever they want. But I know what’s going to happen: Mom’s going to keep the cards, maybe buy a small gift for each kid, then keep the rest around for friends’ birthday gifts, etc. As someone who takes great pride in the gifts I choose, this regimented approach sickens me and takes the joy out of the whole situation. Mom’s a control freak for sure – always has been – but this was over the top and I can’t decide if I should confront her about it in addition to my civil disobedience.
Enter my niece, who had the most adorable list ever. She is nearly eight years old and thought very hard about her list. New pencils (cool ones), pink erasers (they work the best), construction paper, crafty things, dangly earrings and – the big gift – moon sand, some sort of crafty clay. This was her list, and she was so proud of her list, and then my 12-year-old cousin got hold of her. “Don’t you want this Bratz DVD? What about a new Barbie house? The Hanna Montana CD? New games for your Nintendo DS (that Daddy plays with more than she does)” She listed all these things (peer pressure!), but nothing makes my niece happier than sitting at a table with some paper, glue, markers and scissors; well, except maybe a pencil to write and her imagination. It kills me to see everyone (her daddy included – he likes buying her things he can play with when she gets bored) pressuring her to ask for bigger and more expensive things when all she really wants to do is craft and draw and write. Oh, and she wants to learn to knit.
What stinks about this is that I’m going to get her some earrings I bought in a lot on Ebay, some cool pencils and pink erasers, and my brother, her Daddy, will treat me like I skimped on her gift, when in reality I got her what she really wanted.