Bah Humbug

03 Dec

Christmas is fast approaching and I have yet to get into the spirit.  In fact, the last couple of years has found me more and more scroogified.

It began a few years ago when my youngest daughter, Mario, found out who really brought the new TV and satellite dish to our house.

I’d like to say it was her mean big brothers who spilled the beans, but sadly, it was me.  And not in a sweet, patient, understanding way like we did with the boys.

Nope.  I was stomping up the stairs, angry that they had “broken” the TV, and I was grumbling something about how I’m not going to buy any more expensive items if you can’t take care of them!

When suddenly, Mario burst out crying.

I  shot her a confused look, as she sobbed.

“What?”  I demanded.

“I thought Santa brought those things…….”

my heart sunk.

All thoughts of the broken TV were suddenly gone and I was consoling my baby girl.

She was 8 or 9 at the time, and probably had some inkling that we were the ones playing Santa, but to hear it so bluntly was obviously devastating.

That situation itself didn’t turn me into Scrooge, but the magic of Christmas seemed to disappear with no one believing anymore.

We’ve tried to keep it magical.  The past two years we’ve told them not to leave us any lists.  They could write them for the relatives, but we were going to surprise them, just as Santa might.  This has actually caused us more work, but it’s forced us to think of them and what would cause them to squeal with delight.

And it’s worked.

We’ve also kept up with the Christmas Morning Scavenger Hunt.  After all the presents under the tree have been opened, the game begins.

It takes about 15-20 minutes for them to run around the house, finding their next clue.  Some of them can be pretty tricky, (Hubby’s awesome at writing clues) but the last clue leads them to their “big” present.

I don’t care how old you are.  This is fun.

And we’ll probably do all these things again this year, but Scrooge is putting up a good fight.

Some of it has to do with the over-commercialization of Christmas.

But most of it has to do with my own happiness.  There are so many questions right now, that I’m feeling pretty lost.  Should I change jobs?  Should we move?  Should Hubby get a job?  Should he look here or in Tennessee?


There’s hope for me though.  Last night, while doing my exercise routines I listened to my favorite Christmas CD – Amy Grant’s Home for Christmas.  Grown Up Christmas List, Breath of Heaven and Mary, Did You Know were the songs that sparked a glimmer of hope.

Then during my run this morning, I listened to my iPod Christmas Playlist while sweatin’ in the 63 degree morning weather.  What?!?

Although the temperatures of late don’t feel Christmasy, I’m starting to feel a little of the spirit.  I’m hopeful I can snap out of my doldrums and begin to enjoy the lights, the decorations and the joy that this season has to offer.

And, if you’re willing to give, I will happily take any advice on how to keep the magic alive once the kids have grown.

Hurry!  Before it’s too late!



Posted by on December 3, 2012 in Family, Holidays


Tags: , , ,

16 responses to “Bah Humbug

  1. hownottokillyourparents

    December 3, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    Just keep your traditions. Doesn’t matter how old they are. I’m on the other end – I’m the kid. Well, I’m 29, but to Dad, I’m the kid. And even if our traditions are cheesy and ridiculous, they really do make the day. And you can always add on traditions. That’s the great thing about them. They’re yours. 😀

    • shadowrun300

      December 3, 2012 at 7:53 pm

      You make a good point. I suppose I keep thinking that if our traditions are cheesy, we shouldn’t do them. (And some of them are definitely cheesy now that they’ve grown up.) But that’s probably why it seems like Christmas just isn’t the same. And I like your idea of starting new traditions. Hmmm… I’ll be giving that a great deal of thought. I may even ask them for suggestions. Thank you! 🙂

  2. meleahrebeccah

    December 4, 2012 at 12:59 am

    Oh, I LOVE your Christmas Morning Scavenger Hunt. That’s awesome!! Family traditions like that make for very fond and life long memories.

    Its’ been YEARS since I’ve felt real holiday spirit too. And last year was the WORST holiday season, because it was the first one without two of my grandparents. And I can’t explain why, but this year I have been feeling more and more festive with each day.

    • shadowrun300

      December 4, 2012 at 3:02 am

      It really has been a fun tradition, and I think Hubby gets a kick out of coming up with the clues. I just need to figure out how to keep the Christmas spirit alive without little kids anxiously awaiting Santa Claus. Let me know if you ever figure out why you’re able to feel so festive! 🙂

      • meleahrebeccah

        December 5, 2012 at 8:10 pm

        Okay, I think I figured out why I am so happy this holiday season.

        I’m only giving gift cards to people because I am not putting myself through the nightmare of shopping. Not happening. And with my compromised immune system, I’m not risking getting sick over it. And that must be WHY I am feeling a lot more festive this year. Probably because I am NOT wasting my energy inside crowded stores.

      • shadowrun300

        December 6, 2012 at 6:38 am

        YES! I loathe shopping! And combine that with not knowing what to get people, and fighting the crowds, and trying, not necessarily to find good deals, but to not get taken either. So I put off shopping til the last minute. Which means it weighs on me daily. I guess I just don’t want Christmas to be all about shopping and buying things.
        I’m glad you figured it out! Enjoy the holidays!

  3. Abby

    December 4, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    Scavenger hunt! How fun! And ouch, I could feel your heartbreak with the TV incident.

    We NEVER did the Santa thing with our kids. I know there was some trade-off in that whole Christmas magic thing, but we didn’t like the idea of when they would inevitably find out that we LIED! We always just told them that Santa Claus was a sweet Christmas story, and that they’d better not tell their friends!! Same goes for the other “magic”. Lose a tooth? Go ask Mom for a dollar…

    I understand your difficulties in getting in the spirit this year, with things being in such a flux. Maybe just try to set that stuff aside for a couple of Magical weeks??

    • shadowrun300

      December 4, 2012 at 11:50 pm

      I know! When our kids were old enough to know who Santa was, I totally felt like I was lying to them. But I got over it when I realized how helpful he could be when disciplining them. “I’m gonna call Santa right now if you don’t shape up!!” And I have some pretty funny stories on the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny too. I may have to share them sometime.
      It’s hard, but you’re right. I need to just put those things aside and focus on the season. I sure don’t want it to pass me by.

  4. Rock Chef

    December 4, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    The treasure hunt sounds great! Wonder if I can get my kids to play?

    My wife is having trouble getting into the idea of Christmas, but I am working on her!

    • shadowrun300

      December 4, 2012 at 11:54 pm

      The older they get, the more thought it takes to come up with challenging clues. Like I said, my hubby is the mastermind behind them. But it’s still fun! (At least they act like it is…) 😉
      Believe it or not, my hubby is more of a Scrooge than I am. I have to fight him as well! If you’re able to bring your wife around, be sure to share your secret!

  5. territerri

    December 5, 2012 at 12:31 am

    I think it takes a while to get past that sense of loss once none of the kids believes anymore. I find that my spirit is fueled by the thought of all of us being together and by dedicating an entire month to figuring out how to make others happy. It might just be me, but December feels different. There’s that sense of looking forward to something big happening. People seem more open and generous with each other (or maybe that’s just a reflection of my own cheerful mood?) I didn’t used to get into Christmas baking, but now I really look forward to it because it’s something my daughter really wants to do with me and it’s so much more fun that way. I don’t know. I spend most of the year feeling SO uptight about everything. I just look forward to December because the Christmas season seems to lighten my load. And I find that listening to Christmas tunes whenever I can gives me a constant reminder of all of this. (And your favorite Amy Grant Christmas album is one that’s been in my collection longer than any other!)

    • shadowrun300

      December 5, 2012 at 4:22 am

      Doing for others is what I think will help me get in the spirit. And I love the idea of baking with my daughter. I usually work alone in the kitchen, but I have the weekend off. I bet she’d like to help. A little music from Amy Grant and the mood should be set! (I thought I’d lost my Amy Grant album one year, and immediately went out to buy another. I found it soon after, but I didn’t care. I’d rather have two than none! I just love it!)

  6. agg79

    December 5, 2012 at 2:45 am

    I love the treasure hunt idea, but my kid has gotten too old for that stuff. He figured out early on what was the true story and the source of all his gifts. Still, he did learn to play the game – he knew which side his bread was buttered on. After he went off to college, some of the magic slipped away and while we would still do the lights and trees and music and cooking, it just wasn’t all the same without family. A few years back before Christmas, Shadow, our Golden died and that took a lot of the joy out of the season for me. Never really got it all back. Still we do try to get in the spirit of the season. This year is hard because we have been out of pocket for so long and I feel like we have missed most of November. I need to go out and hang the lights and put up the tree and start playing the corny Xmas songs and I will get into the right frame of mind. Hopefully we can spend some time during the holidays with junior and his new bride.

    • shadowrun300

      December 5, 2012 at 4:27 am

      Yeah, I bet it’s hard for you to get in the spirit right after getting off a cruise ship….
      I at least still have my kids at home. And with Mario being only 14, I don’t want Christmas to totally be a dud. I think I need to focus on making this a fun Christmas for her. She hasn’t lived through all the Christmases that the boys have. It’s only fair that she gets a few more years of magic.
      (Perhaps you’ll soon have some little ones to celebrate with….)

  7. The Thin Lady Inside

    December 5, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    I admire you so much for all your dedication to exercise! 🙂 That’s awesome! What a neat thing to do it while listening to Christmas music! 🙂 Your scavenger hunt sounds like a lot of fun… great tradition! 🙂 My girls don’t believe in Santa… I hated when I found out Santa didn’t exist… I felt so dumb (and that’s a feeling I’ve always hated) … I felt like I had been mocked… I don’t know… I just hated it… cried for the whole night just from the embarrassment… plus I feel like it’s intentionally, deliberately lying… don’t like it at all LOL! I’m just weird maybe… 🙂

    • shadowrun300

      December 6, 2012 at 6:43 am

      You are NOT weird. I thought I was weird when I felt uncomfortable introducing our kids to Santa. I totally felt like I was lying to them, but since everyone else was doing it, I went along. Then 8-9 years later I had to explain myself. I don’t miss Santa, necessarily, I just miss the excitement and sense of surprise when they wake up on Christmas morning.


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