‘Tis the Season…to Consume

Yes, still procrastinating on the novel. Start a new chapter, reveal who’s gonna be taking over for Stavin, reveal her connection to Maree…then leave ya hanging for a couple weeks. Those of you still hangin’, that is. I’m snowed in tomorrow most likely, so might be a good time for some power writing.

In the meantime, I wanted to find out from y’all how you deal with the consumer/consumption aspect of this gift-giving season (Christmas, Hanukkah, Solstice, Festivus, whatever).

Myself and Mrs. Blue, we’ve been trying to live a lot leaner, and not just because we’re short on income these days (though I have some hope of see things improve in terms of the size of my clientele soon). We’re also faced with a little girl who always wants, wants, wants. Little Girl Blue is delightful. She’s smart, perceptive, loving, kind, and many other positive things. But she also has some intense personality features that challenge my patience, and her desire to have so many things—which seems a bit more than the usual 4-year-old, Id-fueled level of desire—is one of those traits which drives me up a wall.

So, while I don’t desire to deny her gifts this season, the wife and I do want to accentuate the real reason we’re celebrating toward the end of December, and so I don’t want Christmas to be all about ripping paper off boxes and then forgetting about half the stuff she just opened after an hour has gone by.

What I think we are going to do is have a “9 Days of Christmas” kind of thing, with her opening 1 gift on Christmas Eve and then one each day thereafter, all the way to New Year’s Day. Given her number of gifts, once you factor in the ones from relatives, she may get to open two or three on Christmas Day.

Anyway, it seemed like a good way to make her appreciate the gifts more if she doesn’t have all of them piled around her feet all at once, while also playing up the season and the approach of the new year a bit more.

I don’t know…what do you think of that? And do you have any special plans to de-commercialize or redefine your approach to the holidays?


8 Responses to “‘Tis the Season…to Consume”

  1. December 9, 2009 at 10:54 am

    I think thats a great idea. I have an empty wallet and girlfriend who was fond of squeezing out babies in December. It’s really bad.

  2. December 9, 2009 at 10:56 am

    My Grandma sqouze out a couple in December as well…and there’s a baby due in a week. Sheesh!

  3. December 9, 2009 at 11:01 am

    And I thought I had it bad with anniversary in Nov., X-mas in Dec., wife’s B-day in January, Valentine’s Day in Feb. and son’s B-day in Feb…the annual “Winter of Doom” for me.

  4. December 9, 2009 at 4:28 pm

    Her desire for “stuff” is likely directly tied to her television consumption. Those damn advertisers are insidious. Cartoons are only a vehicle to sell stuff.

  5. 5 Deacon Blue
    December 9, 2009 at 7:56 pm

    You know, it actually predated the commercials, though they haven’t helped.

    You see, for most of her TV life, she’s viewed DVDs/tapes and commercial-free cable or PBS programming. Sure, the Nickolodeon stuff is on the toy shelves and such, but commercials she sees very little of.

    And it’s not even just toys, cereal and the like. No matter where we go, even if it isn’t kid stuff, it’s always “Do I get something?” My wife had been doing well on cutting down Starbuck’s consumption until the holiday season, when the Peppermint Mocha made its return, and even though it’s supposed to be a trip for my WIFE’S evening beverage, and I almost never get anything, Isis is always like “Can I get a hot chocolate?”…and half the time, she barely drinks it.

    Something in her wiring is just very acquisition-oriented. And it’s something I’m all too aware of and sometimes don’t exactly know how to curb.

  6. December 14, 2009 at 3:53 pm


    That’s interesting. I wonder if my son will go through that phase.

  7. December 15, 2009 at 11:27 am

    LOL- taking a cue from my people? 8 days of chanukah, one present each night from the parents for the youngest, and a trinket in her shalom stocking left by the chanukah elk who comes every night right after we light candles. presents from paretns average $6, books, stuffies [kohl’s has the if you give a mouse a — series, and some of the money goes to lieteracy programs] chanukah elk leaves stickers, candy, pencil sharpeners, average $1. older kids get cash.

    isis is 4, she’ll grow out of the fascination with TV junk. we were lucky that way, our girls were/are so into art supplies, books, music that it’s never been an issue.

    my ex and i had an annual dilemna in feb. my birthday is the 5, our anniversary was the 7th, valentine’s is the 14, and the anniversary of when we started going out was march 1. family birthdays are march 7,7,15,21,21,24,24,25,25,28,31, may 3,7,8,18,21, dec 7, 14,15,15,16,22. who has the energy to celebrate that much? as my neighbor used to say, TOO MUCH YONTIF [yiddish for holiday]

  8. 8 Deacon Blue
    December 15, 2009 at 10:23 pm

    LOL, robyn. Well, the Jewish people are my spiritual brother and sisters, so I like to take a cue now and again. Actually, we may not do what I had mentioned exactly, but instead do a literal “12 days of Christmas” instead and celebrate both the nature/elemental aspect of things (solstice) as well as Christmas and the New Year.

    My little girl is actually into art supplies and books too…really into it…problem is not so much that she just desires junk (which she does sometimes) but that she desires EVERYTHING. (shakes head)

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Deacon Blue is the blogging persona of editor and writer Jeffrey Bouley. The opinions of Jeff himself on this blog, and those expressed as Deacon Blue, in NO WAY should be construed as the opinions of anyone with whom he has worked, currently works, or will work with in the future. They are personal opinions and views, and are sometimes, frankly, expressed in more outrageous terms than I truly feel most days.

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