At 10PM on Christmas Eve…

…My Chemical Romance and I had a discussion about the differences in our cultural backgrounds and how I’m the Grinch. You see, I was raised Jewish. And I’m an only child. Ergo, I didn’t give a shit from whom the presents came (or where), I just wanted presents.

My Chemical Romance was raised… vaguely Christian-esque, with a large dose of Santa and two sisters.

I assumed my offspring felt the way I do about presents. I live with these kids every day, I know how they are about stuff.

I also wrongly assumed that I’d spent this holiday season nursing a newborn so I wouldn’t make it out to buy gifts. Joke’s on me! Thank you, ama*zon.com for having everything I needed (except for a whole-house humidifier). You came through, except when I get static shocks from opening the fridge.

Meanwhile, My Chemical Romance has this complicated scientific Christmas formula in his head that I only learned of tonight, but he wants to adapt it for our family — starting next year, since this Christmas is almost upon us and now it’s nearly 11pm and we have boycotted Wal*Mart for over three years now and Tar*get is closed, so hopefully this year the kids will simply enjoy their gifts and next year we’ll start the REAL tradition.

It took me a while to catch on, but now I totally get the plan and I think it’s great, and here’s how it works:

1. A certain amount of money is set aside for each kid, for gifts from Santa, and from mom and dad. Say $50/kid. So they will get at least one gift from Santa (which will not get wrapped) and one gift from us (wrapped). Or they might get a few small gifts from Santa (unwrapped) and a few small gifts from us (wrapped). Or some combination thereof, as long as the monetary value is equal to $50 (or whatever we decide).

2. We give each kid $5 for each sibling, to buy each other gifts. I’m sincerely hoping we can encourage them to pool their money for each other, or I’m going to end up with a bunch of tiny plastic dollar-store toys that will be broken by (next) New Year’s Eve.

3. My Chemical Romance and I have a set amount of money to buy each other one gift, one gift from Santa, and one gift from the kids, divided however we want.

Apparently this will add up to approximately three gifts per person, and $23525252352 spent on next year’s Christmas. Happy Holidays!

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