Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Over gifted and dollar tea

So i had this plan i was going to go to NY and see the sites take a million pics and post them all here. I was going to write about how the light of Chanukah shines through no matter where you are.
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I was going to show off pictures of Rozie with her favorite guy, Uncle Moishy. I was going to snap away as my little ones played the huge piano in Fao Schwarz. I was going to record Rozie's face as she walked into the American Girl doll store for the first time. Well none of this happened. Rozie got a fever as soon as we touched NY soil. We also discovered she has a horrific fear of her favorite child singer, and huddled in fear from good ol Uncle Moishy. We never made it to Fao Schwarz, or the American Girl Doll store because this mommy forgot that it was x-mas on Sunday and all our favorite spots would be closed, but have no fear folks Starbucks was open. Needless to say things didn't turn out the way i planned, and we left early to bring a sick baby home to the comfort of her own bed and her own doctor that knows my little girl like the back of his medically blessed hand. I did have one awesome highlight to the trip i got to meet my favorite singer and online friend in real life. Can you guess who it is? Here is a hint......
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Now im wishing NY was a bit closer. Great meeting you Chanale till next time....
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This Chanukah was a learning experience for me. Remember here I told you guys i was trying out the gift a night thing for my kids for Chanukah this year, and i have to say it was a huge mistake. I had this plan that my kids would get this cuddly warm feeling about the gifts, and we would all light Menorah together open a gift and bask in the glow of the days of light.
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Instead my kids only wanted to light the Menorah so we could get to the present part. They even started getting a little chutzpah towards the end about what they got, and asked for things to be returned when they didn't like them. The presents became somewhat of a obsession and i was biting the inside of my cheek not to lose it with them. The last straw for me was when my middle one got some gelt ( money) and he wanted to go right away to buy more toys with the money. I kept telling him to be patient and we would go later but he wouldn't let it go and asking me on an hourly basis when we could go. Im telling you i turned around to see my sweet boy sitting in a pile of new toys whining to go to the store to buy more. Ok that really didn't happen but it felt like it did,and i wasn't recognizing who my kids had become.
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Next year we are not doing the scheduled present thing. Not sure what i will do but this year will not be replayed. Its amazing how quickly a little over consumption can change a person. The strange thing was i didn't go overboard. Its not like i bought them a PlayStation and new bikes.
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It was little trinkets like a harmonica and a little doll bed the size of a small shoe box. It didn't matter they liked the idea and they wanted and wanted more. The last night i was so fed up that i gave Dovie a candy Lolly he always asks for in the market and a tiny tea set for Rozie i bought in the Rite Aid dollar section. Dovie looked at me and said this is it , and i looked back and said ya if you don't want it im sure Rozie would. Not one of my prouder parenting moments, but i was fed up. Rozie happened to love her tea set that had tea cups big enough to sit on the tip of my finger.
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I had one just like it as a child and i cherished it. I really think i could of split the set up and given her a piece of the set each night and she would of been happy. Oh next year, next year. So between NY fevers, Uncle Moishy fear, over gifted kids, and a not so happy mommy this has been a Chanukah to remember. With all that said i was sad to see it go. I am sad to put the Menorahs away and take the Menorah off the car.
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Chanukah is like that a golden path that even if the steps of the way are a little hard to walk on, and you slip on the shiny substance, it is still easy to see what is ahead. This is Chanukah, a light and it glows no matter what else is in its path. I hope each and every one of you found your Chanukah path and filled your hearts with the glow.Till next year my friends!

13 comments :

one_plustwins said...

Hugs our celebrations weren't what I had hoped either...

Krista said...

I am sorry to hear it was a difficult time. Wishing you the best in the New Year.

Nechama said...

I like the idea of splitting a gift over the eight nights. Thanks!

JerusalemStoned said...

SAME THING HERE. The gifts, the blessed, cursed gifts. Am wracking my brains as to how to go about changing it...

ckbrylliant said...

Thank you for sharing this. So many of us are faced with the same dilemma over gift giving. Things will be toned down yet again around here next year. I recently read on another bloggers site that her family does individual present(s) for birthdays and group gifts for Christmas (they have 11 kids). Thought it interesting and something to think about.

Chanalesings said...

Loved seeing you, way to fleeting but its a start!

Anonymous said...

I agree about the gifts...not sure what the solution is, though!!

Keshet said...

Your comments on the gifts are so interesting--I've been debating what I want to do with my kids when the time comes.

shevi said...

My grandon whos 6 and has down syndrome used to also be very afraid of Uncle Mosheand the noise hes much better now he even went to the circus recently with his classand enjoyed the performances

Shoshana Z. said...

re: gifts

We give Jewish gifts for Pesach and Rosh Hashana. On Chanukah each child gets $36 chanukah gelt (10% to tzedaka and the rest either to spend or to their savings accounts). Birthdays are for a toy gift. This system has worked very well for us.

Anonymous said...

it can be so sad and frustrating when our expectations clash with reality. i don't think you did anything "wrong"...and i don't think the kids did anything "wrong"...there was just a mis-match that left you feeling like you need to make a change for next year...

one thing that works for us for chanukah is that we have one gift night - it's on friday night of shabbos chanukah and we give pj's (or sometimes a robe or slippers) and a book. it's what my kids expect and it makes me so happy to see everyone sprawled over the living room after dinner in their new cosy night clothes, engrossed in their books, with the chanukah lights still softly glowing in the background...

here are some other ideas of things we have done in the past. some nights we just light and have dinner; other nights we might have a specific plan like one of these:

tzedaka night: before chanukah, we research some tzedaka ideas. guide dogs for the blind, food pantries, birthday boxes for kids in shelters...unfortunately, there are thousands...then on one night of chanukah we give each child five one-dollar bills and they decide how to divide their donations. it always leads to amazing discussions and sharing feelings and information.

my grandmother passed away last year, but she would always send us a "chanukah gelt" specificially to use for an activity; going out for ice cream all together, seeing a movie, going to the arcade or ice skating... she wisely said that the gift of family fun time is more valuable than any tchotchke. you already do so many cool things with your kids that maybe this isn't such a novelty...but i'm sure you can think of some new fun thing to do!

game night: we usually get a new family game each year and play it all together. it may not work for you this year or next...but keep trying!

arts and crafts night. pretty self explanitory! i'm sure you would have no trouble thinking of dozens of projects for your family to do!

party night! we invite over another family or two and have a simple dinner (that usually features either latkes or sufganiyot - or both! how healthy, right??). sometimes we sing or the kids make up a skit...

movie night. we make popcorn, turn off the lights and snuggle on the sofa and or a picnic blanket on the floor and watch a family film - sometimes a favorite or sometimes something new...even though my kids do watch movies and tv, it's special because all 8 of us take the time to be together.

coupon night. this is a new one for us, i'm not sure if it's going to be a keeper...the kids gave "coupons" for services they could do for each other; some funny and some serious...they worked hard to think of things the others would like (we helped the younger kids).

you are such a thoughtful and caring person; i'm sure that by next chanukah you will have figured out what will work best for your family. i look forward to reading all about it!

Happily Hectic said...

I love your honesty! Your idea sounded awesome, but alas, your kids are real kids ;)

Sheva said...

Thank you for all the tips and ideas. Its funny that i have been doing this for years and im still trying to work out what works for us.
Anonymous: you ideas are amazing i have book marked your ideas for next year.
I also love the Pesach and R.H gift ideas!