Monday, October 20, 2008

On Some Motherly Advice:

Some of the people at the get together on Saturday night had small children. And with the economy causing most everyone to cut back and they were wondering how to approach their kids about the smaller portions under the tree.

I will credit my mother with this one. She always told us when we asked how come some kids got more then others and no one got everything on there list from Santa. She said, “Santa didn’t want children to love him more then their own parents so he never gave more then the parents could afford. And that it was the only way Santa could be fair since he wanted every child to have the best Christmas that they could have.”

I always thought it was a good answer and have passed it along to my religious and secular friends over the years. That and, “Don’t go into debt to give your kids every little thing that they see and want. Children are the happiest when in a stable comfortable home no matter what the income level of the family.”

I can see it already in the stores parents stressing over how much each Halloween costume piece costs, multiplied by each kid in the family. Hearing mothers and fathers trying to talk ‘Junior’ into being a ghost or a hobo like when they were kids.

Most of the kids when they were told straight out that there just wasn’t enough money for the extras resigned themselves to doing with less. In fact some were proud to be included in the decision on not getting the costume of choice once they were reassured that it would be okay as long as everyone made some little cutback like not buying costumes this year.

My own kids never had a bought costume in there lives. A little makeup and come creative dressing changed who they saw in the mirror and that was enough. Because it was tricking the home owners out of candy by being someone else, that was the point at our house. Not being the latest super hero or cartoon character. There were already too may of them walking around don’t you know.

I hope all holidays are good holidays at your house.

1 comment:

Judith said...

Did you ever read Rick Bragg's autobiography, "All Over But the Shoutin'" ? He describes growing up dirt poor. His mother dressed him as a hobo for Hallowe'en, but he felt like it was really his regular clothes. He complained to his mother, "What should I tell people I am?" His mother replied, "Tell them you're hungry!"

We never bought costumes, either. It was all home-made with old bed sheets and newspaper and makeup and whatever else. My older sisters (I have a zillion sisters, so bear with me on this one) dressed up our youngest sister (who was about 3 or 4) in a big fluffy prom dress, did her makeup, and took her around trick or treating as a princess. The little kid brought in tons more candy than we'd gotten!