There is no doubt in my mind that it is insanity to allow oneself to be sucked up into the atmosphere of it all, commonly called Christmas. Isn't it a bipolar high to buy more things than one needs? But we are encouraged on all fronts because it is supporting local economy, it is good for the larger economy. And I am a vulnerable grandmother who has realized that this will be my grandchild's first Christmas to become enchanted and bewitched into the celebrated madness. What am I doing by enticing her into this crazy occasion? Her parents are holdouts who refuse to have a tree. Smart. I succumb to the tree because I live in the hollow whence darkness comes by 4 o'clock in December. How now to temper the everywhere enticements? How do I not respond to the request out of the mouth of 3 year old, "I want a tea kettle for my kitchen."
So I went looking for a tea kettle yesterday. Did you know that Wal-Mart has stopped selling tea kettles - the old fashion ones that go on a burner? Needless to say they didn't have tea kettles for kid's kitchens. But on my roll down the ails my eye caught the sight of a doll high on the top shelf, an African American doll. Do you know how rare a find of this sort is where I live? She's beautiful. I bought her. Now I don't know what to do with her so I have hid her in the upstairs closet. I came home to a message that the kid garden tools had arrived at Cambria Toy Station; these were the original ONE Christmas present (except for stocking presents) that we had decided ruled our Christmas giving. Fortunately for nanee, the stockings are ample. But I have to admit that I have hid another present that I'd bought months ago: a set of kitchen furnishings for the doll house. Now I'm really up the creek,or tree - what to do????
This is a luxury dilemma; there are oodles of grand parents who can't afford one gift for their grand child. But I've given to the Salvation Army, to the United Way; I sent cards from the Women's Resource Center to my friends that a donation had been made in their names. I've spent way more money on donations in Africa for water, goats and school supplies. But this doesn't solve the American ethical dilemma of how much to spoil a child? GRrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!