Sunday, December 28, 2014

Christmas Gift Vulnerability

A few weeks ago I had a really great idea for a Christmas gift for the boys.

This December has been unusually warm. Snowless and cool, but not at all cold. So we've been spending a lot of time in the backyard and the boys really like to play "kick a ball around" which is (of course) a game they invented, where you kick a ball around. But they each need a ball because sharing is hard. And sometimes they like to block each other's balls, and sometimes the fence is a "goal" and I just kept thinking "we need to sign them up for soccer".

So I asked Josh what he thought about ordering them a soccer goal, so they could "kick a ball around" into a goal, and we could get them each their own soccer balls and it would be so rad. Josh like it when I say things like "I have an idea for Christmas" because it means he's off the hook for having ideas for Christmas. So he was on board immediately.

I ordered the thing, I got the balls, and I was all excited knowing it would be the perfect gift. And then it was Christmas Eve and Josh and I put it together (inside, because it finally snowed) and I set it all out and thought "oh crap! what if they don't like it! what if kick a ball is not longer the funnest game in the back yard? What if they hate ball kicking? What if I ruined Christmas? What if they are ultimately disappointed? What if only one of them likes it? I don't even know which one that would be? I'm a horrible parent!"

That's when I realized that I hate giving big gifts. It's stressful, because what if I got it wrong?! I'd much rather give them each some clothes and some books and some toys and it displaces the stress over many small things instead of having one clearly big important gift that might totally flop. But it was Christmas Eve and it was 11:30 and I had nothing left to do but hope it went over well.

Christmas morning was torture. The boys had stayed up WAY too late the night before and just kept on sleeping. When they finally woke up I realized they weren't even going to see the big present (which didn't fit in the living room, so it was all alone in the family room) until we told them to go find it. So we S.L.O.W.L.Y. enjoyed opening all of the other gifts all morning, and once I was sure they were satisfied with their loot, we finally we told them to go check it out. They thought was cool. And they played a little soccer with dad as the goalie and they were both proud when they scored their first official goals.

So I guess it was successful, it will be even better when the only snowflakes that have fallen finally melt and we can get this thing out of the living room (or Josh and I get off our lazy butts and decide to haul it out to the garage).

What I learned (just in time for Josh's birthday) is this. I don't like giving gifts, it stresses me out and when I think I've found something perfect for someone and I don't get a ridiculous amount of overenthusiastic feedback I feel like a failure. So, I want to give up all of my job titles that require me to be a gift giver. I'm not going to do it anymore.

For his birthday? Josh is getting a toothbrush.

1 comment:

  1. HAHA!! love the final line. So funny! And I totally relate to this whole post. Gift-giving and money-spending = hard. If Christmas was about compliments and hugs, it'd be much easier!


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