Another Christmas Has Passed…
Yes, parents, we have all survived another Christmas. We endured the traveling. The shopping struggle. And even the overwhelming amount of Holiday movies and tv episodes, broadcast over the weekend. But if you are a regular follower of this blog, you might have realized something. Perhaps you noticed that we didn’t actually share any of our own holiday festivities?
Don’t get me wrong. We had a wonderful time spent with family on my husband’s side, for Christmas Eve/Day. Followed by our own special “Christmas day” here at home. And then a quick gathering at my own Mother’s house for that side of our family. So yes, it’s fair to say we are a little exhausted, and happy that things have settled down.
But most people wouldn’t have known we did anything if they were only looking for pictures and status updates!
Why I chose not to overshare our Holiday celebrations…or even share at all
I’m usually very open about posting on social media; it’s a great way to stay connected to family and friends. And while you can’t be everywhere at once, you can at least share in the experience through pictures and updates. And I love being able to let distant family and friends, know what’s going on in our lives. Especially when it comes to my son, Bruce. He’s probably more popular than I am. Actually, I know he is…
That being said, the unfortunate truth is, not everyone is as fortunate as we are. Not every family can spend the celebrating at three different houses. And not every child has three different Christmas Trees with gifts underneath, just for them.
And us adults do work very hard for the things we have – and sharing that with the world is not a bad thing. And as I’ve written about before, what one might perceive as jealousy, can easily be turned into motivation, when seeing the success of another.
But, kids don’t always see it that way. Nor do other adults. And the last thing I want during the holiday season, are hurt feelings.
We shared very little of our Holidays…
I had to share our first family Christmas Tree, because of course, it was our first. And we were proud of it! But as we began putting gifts under the tree, excluding what Santa would bring himself (items too big for wrapping), that something dawned on me. Not everyone is as blessed as we are. And while it’s in any parent’s right to post pictures of the tree with all their child’s gifts underneath-the last thing I want is another parent (or child!) to see that and feel bad. And I’ll be the first to admit that my son is spoiled – of course, he’s the only grandchild within our immediate family, so of course he makes out like a bandit at Christmas!
But that is also within the eye of the beholder. While one might think our gift pile modest, another would think it’s “over the top.” One person can realize that we have a tree, and both grandparents have their own, and think it’s very common-while another person can think it’s too extravagant. Neither opinion is right or wrong.
Everyone’s idea of the perfect Christmas size is different http://ctt.ec/5u13P+ #parenting @jasminea5100
It’s also a Catch 22 – you can be a minimalist family, and someone can say you “aren’t doing enough” with such a materialist holiday. Or, they can see a child getting three Christmases, and think “dear lord, who needs all this stuff? They’re spoiled rotten!”
You just can’t win either way.
So we shared one photo of our tree, giftless and without the topper (as we were still decorating) and that was it. No one needed to do a count of exactly how many trees held how many gifts.
The meaning of Christmas…
People all too often forget the real meaning of the holidays, and become too wrapped up in the material game. It’s about family. Not out-doing each other on Facebook with “who has the bigger tree.” Or judging another parent because they got the Hot Toy items only available on eBay because the demand went through the roof. Families shouldn’t be scrutinized by the size of their celebration. The holidays are meant to be about Giving, and Family. And family, even with sharing to those who aren’t close to us…should have a few private things to be enjoyed.
Pictures of our holiday should be just for us to enjoy-not something to be picked apart and analyzed by those who weren’t there. Be it good or bad judgement, it just shouldn’t happen. And because I can’t prevent people from forming an opinion, I can prevent the opportunity as best as possible, by not inviting it through sharing.
That’s why I will be keeping the photos of gift unwrapping to myself. No one needs to feel inadequate when comparing my child’s Christmas to theirs. Or feel that we went a little overboard for a 18month old. Or even think that maybe we didn’t do enough!
And in our world of social media, we have at least this holiday, to ourselves. That’s not to say next year, Bruce’s 3rd, won’t be publicized for all the extended family and friends to see… But this year, can be just for us.