Things have been quiet around here these days. I’m slowly getting us ready for the season and have been listening to The Chieftain’s Christmas cd (this one) since the Mister brought it home a couple of weeks ago. I don’t usually break out the Christmas music that early but when he came home with it I was reminded about how much I love singing Christmas carols. So I’ve brought out the sheet music and taken some books out of the library and have been plunking away the tunes for the girls (my piano skills can best be described as “plunking” but I am grateful that I can read sheet music).
Recently the Mister and I wrote a letter to our families describing the kind of Christmas we wanted (or really, click the life we want). A simple Christmas. With few presents. I’m trying to find my way back to loving the season and all the joy it can bring and not, as has been the way for the last many years, going towards it with a giant knot of anxiety in my stomach.
The letter started off like this:
There is one image from the last couple of months that really stands out in our minds: Moira standing on an overturned laundry basket, banging on a container of ground cloves with a wooden spoon, giving us a concert for over an hour. (This has happened more than once.) We have a saying in our house that we repeat to each other again and again when we see the girls doing things: ‘expensive toys’. We say this because what the girls gravitate to the most aren’t the complicated toys, but rather a basket of cloths, the play kitchen, the tea set and the wooden fruit. Moira may not tell you that the “cloths” are her favourite toy but, next to Sookie’s tag, they are what get played with the most.
So we have implemented a one-present rule. I understand that children can be a pleasure to buy for but it really does overwhelm them to have too many gifts – usually they want to start playing with what they have opened right away and not have to go through another dozen (or two) more. One really well thought out present given with love is worth more than a mountain of plastic that is easily discarded.
Really, with what is happening in Attawapiskat right now – such extreme poverty in our own country – it makes me feel physically ill to be a part of such consumer waste when there are people who aren’t having their basic needs met.
Anyway. We shall see how that goes. Until then I’ll just keep singing. Today I was working on The Angel Gabriel and Moira felt the need to interrupt my plunking to tell me it was a beautiful song. She’s right.