I was sitting with two friends today and we were talking about what "Santa" or in our case "mom and dad" (yes I'm married to one of those I don't want to teach my kids about Santa people, well guess what they just made up their own mythology about the whole thing) was bringing to the kids. So the moms still had some things they were unsure of but for the most part we were all fairly confident in our choices for our children. When the conversation turned to spouses I found that everyone kind of had their own way of doing things. My friend Andrea and her husband make a list of things they needed. Then they pick something off the list, wrapped it up, and put it under the tree. This year both of their items happen to be kitchen items that the whole family will enjoy. My friend Erin and her husband get money from their parents and then just use it to buy stuff for themselves that they want and call it good. She was wearing a really cute pair of jeans and sweater that she got herself for "Christmas". She also had a new pair of running shoes she planned to wrap up and put under the tree. Her husband Matt would be buying himself gifts after he decided what he wanted. And then there was me. Yesterday while doing my cyber Monday shopping I bought Dr. J something. It wasn't big or necessarily so special but it was something he'd mentioned several times wanting. I know it will be here in a few days but now I'm left with a dilemma. Do I save it for Christmas or do I give it to him for his birthday? If I give it to him for his birthday do I get him something else for Christmas? I've noticed as I've gotten older that Christmas has become much more special but less because of what I get, and I think looking at how my friends and I plan our Christmas shopping for our spouses and ourselves is proof of that. I'm an adult with my own money and if I need new socks or pajamas or a new toy (my iphone definitely counts as a toy), I usually just buy it for myself. I don't need Christmas to get those items. But I do now have the joy of experiencing Christmas through the eyes of my children, and that is far greater then anything I could ever feel on my own. We'll both have some Christmas money and maybe I'll use mine to get a new pair of running shoes, and maybe he'll use his to buy a new pair of pants, but when we sit down Christmas morning to open gifts it will all be about watching the kids.
PS. On the off chance my husband is reading this, my slippers have a hole in them :)