giving gifts: bah! humbug.

My son’s backpack came home from school yesterday stuffed full of gifts. “Christopher gave me a Playmobile guy!” He said, “and Valentina gave me an activity book. I got Hershey kisses, and candy canes!” He was so excited, but with every addition to the list of loot the knot in my stomach tightened.

Why? Why do parents send in all these stupid gifts that turn into garbage as soon as they hit my house? Candy wrappers and torn papers, crushed crayons and little bits of horrible glitter, litter my home. Plus I feel guilt for not having sent in anything for my son’s classmates.

I asked my husband if this makes me a Scrooge, and he hesitatingly said “a little,” which makes me think that yeah, I’m a super Scrooge. But that’s fine. I wish we could dispense with the gifts. Instead, let’s share a snack, or a layer cake, or some bread pudding with fresh whipped cream. Let’s raise a glass and have a toast. Let’s take all those gifts and give them to children that don’t have.

I’ve had friends who are really into gift giving, and it makes me feel bad because I am really not into it. I’d rather get some time with friends, instead of gifts let’s buy travel and actually see each other.

Please don’t expect me to get you anything for Christmas. Sorry.

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