A few of my Facebook friends have recently posted links to blog posts with titles like "Can we tone down the holidays, please?" and other things of that nature.
It's March, Easter is coming up, if you don't have kids in school you may wonder what the big deal is. So here it is... St. Patrick's Day. Once a day when you just made sure your child (ok me, I was that age) wore green when they walked out of the house so they don't get pinched? Now a holiday. Not a holiday in that kids are out of school, but a big celebration with green food, Leprechaun trap building, etc. Then there are the complaints of what some kids are handing out for Valentine's Day - fancy little bags of goodies instead of just a card. Take it back another few weeks to Christmas and everyone points to the "creepy" new tradition of Elf on the Shelf. Some have even started complaining about Advent calendars - which are not a new thing and I loved mine as a kid.
Well I have already blogged about the supposed "creepy" Elf on the Shelf. Basically we bought it and love it and don't find it creepy - which seems to be the key word people use who don't buy in. "It's creepy."
I am a big fan of holidays. Love them. In today's day and age with so much crummy news and things we need to shelter our kids from, I am all for embracing the fun and frivolty of a handful of days a year to celebrate random things.
We aren't really Irish, though the red hair tricks many. More Scandinavian and my red hair (hence my kids' as well) comes from my Swedish grandmother. But St. Patty's day? It's a hit here. The kids love corned beef, which I fix once a year on March 17th. They love building leprechaun traps and they get more elaborate every year. This year my son's was rigged with motion sensors - making things pretty interesting...
Fun. It's all it is.
We pick and choose with holidays. I get tired of all the freaking candy at holidays and my personal annoyance is when every holiday becomes a gift giving occasion. My kids get "presents" on their birthdays and Christmas. For Easter they will get small little things I don't think of as presents out of the dollar bins in their baskets - chalk, jump rope, a stuffed rabbit (for Skadi). For Valentine's Day, my daughter got a pink teddy bear, because she loves that stuff (and her chocolates still sit untouched). I don't have time to spend hours working on Valentine's, so my kids picked out the ones with a card and a piece of candy attached. And so far - neither the nearly 6 year old or 8 year old has complained at all. I like to think they know better.
Back to my point... the blog posts asking to scale back the holidays.
You don't like it? Don't do it! Quit succumbing to parental peer pressure and the assumption that if it is posted on Pinterest that "everyone" else is doing it and your child will feel left out if they don't have baggies of rainbow licorice and gold coins for St. Patty's Day. Your kids will deal.
St. Patty's day? I cooked dinner. My kids built their traps themselves (ok, dad couldn't resist in helping Skadi incorporate her ceiling fan into hers) as they have been doing since they were 3 years old in preschool with access to paper and tape. And that was that.
And you know what, if my children EVER complained that they don't get to do all the stuff their friends do they will get a stern lecture.
My son at chess club (over Christmas) told one of his friends about the underwear episode with our Elf, Mina. (Mina decorated the untrimmed tree with his underwear.) The boy told his mom in my presence and she looked at me, rolled her eyes (not in a horrible way, we have been acquainted for 1.5 years now through the boys) and said, "oh you are one of THOSE moms."
Yes, I am one of those moms who loves to have fun and do silly things with my kids that make them laugh and adds to their magic of the holidays. That when they are 28 will look back and laugh and say to me, "mom, do you remember when you, I mean the Elf, decorated the tree with my underwear?"
Yep, I am one of those moms.