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Can We Bring The Holidays Down A Notch?

Posted by on Mar. 18, 2014 at 9:26 PM
  • 21 Replies

This past Sunday was St. Patrick's Day, a holiday I had completely forgotten about until my oldest stumbled out of bed and into the living room at about 11:30 p.m. Saturday night while we were watching SNL.  "Can I help you guys hide the gold coins?" he asked. The WHAT?  "The gold coins. I know the leprechauns aren't real. I know it's you, like Santa. So I want to help you. I can make the leprechaun trap, too."

We told him to go to bed and then looked at each other with exasperation. Gold coins? A leprechaun trap? Is he serious?  When I was a kid we celebrated St. Patrick's Day by wearing something green. THE END. I had noticed that over the past few years, our kids were getting some grander ideas from school. But I didn't think that we needed to replicate these experiences at home.

Apparently, the children believed that we did.

All four of them woke up and came into our room like it was Christmas morning.

Did a leprechaun visit?

Can we search for him?

Did he leave a pot of gold?

Let's go find the gold coins!

I bet he left chocolate!

So. Many. Expectations.

All of which were dashed.

I had four seriously disappointed and grumpy kids on my hands. At one point my daughter went into full-blown meltdown mode, kicking random items in her room and yelling about what a LAME HOLIDAY this was.

And in my overly-tired impatient state, I might have yelled back, "YOU'RE RIGHT. This IS a lame holiday. It was never my favorite. All we did was wear green. That's all we're doing today. I'm sorry if you do more at school. That's not what we do here. I don't know where you are hearing this stuff but it's not happening here."

Fellow parents: St. Patrick's Day is supposed to be a "phone-it-in" holiday. Yes, I've turned into a bit of a grinch, but SERIOUSLY WITH THE HOLIDAY OVERKILL. It used to be Christmas was the main event, but now it's as if every holiday must be at a Level 10. And if Christmas wasn't already hard enough as a parent, someone also decided that we have to move an Elf around every day, into creative tableaus? And then someone else decided that the Advent Calendar was A Thing beyond a simple religious observation and now involves some kind of gift each day leading up to Christmas?

And about a month after having survived that whole mess, we've got Valentine's Day, which has became The New Halloween, because God forbid you send a simple store-bought card. You'd better include some candy or your child will be shunned. Shunned! One of my kids came home with not just a candy from each class, but a WHOLE FREAKING GOODIE BAG from each student.



And then, I think I've got a break for a month BUT NO. Surprise! We've got 100 Days of School to celebrate. And by "celebrate" I mean the kids sticking 100 things on a hat. And by "the kids" I mean me.



And suddenly Pi Day is a thing? My children expect to be served pie because someone at school told them so?

And Dr. Seuss's birthday? Sure it's a great event for school, but my kids are now asking what we're doing to celebrate that at home, too.

And do not even get me started on what Easter has become. When I was a kid my mom went to the store and bought us a new dress and a pre-made plastic Easter basket for $8.99.  THE END. There was candy and we loved it. Maybe we would die some eggs from a kit sitting in the check-out lane at Target. They would look like crap.

Now we've got to leave footprints from the Easter Bunny and make artful, Pinterest-worthy eggs with stencils and ikat prints and probably some that are ombre. AIN'T NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT.

I don't like the feeling of disappointing my kids. But I refuse to give into this holiday overkill. I'm overwhelmed enough as it is. Today I gave all of my kids a bath. We read with each of them for the recommended 20 minutes. We reviewed our math facts. We practiced guitar. We sat together at the table and ate a meal that was NOT procured at a drive-thru.  We played outside. Most days, I'm struggling to achieve all these things. I can't have these haphazard, once-monthly overblown holidays take over my life.  I can go big for Christmas and Easter. That's all I can handle.

But I can't do this alone. Fellow parents... teachers... sunday school workers... I beseech you. BRING IT DOWN A NOTCH.  Ya'll are setting up expectations that I just can't maintain. Wouldn't we all be just a little happier if we returned to the slacker days of store-bought valentines and kit-dyed eggs and JUST WEARING A GREEN SHIRT AND CALLING IT A DAY?

For the sake of overwhelmed parents like me, I beg you. Stop the madness.

Do you think holidays are over the top now? Do you give your child(ren) a gift for each holiday?  

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by on Mar. 18, 2014 at 9:26 PM
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by Bronze Member on Mar. 18, 2014 at 9:34 PM

School and TV (and every retail store in America) have blown holidays out of proportion. Yes. For sure.

But I've found that there are no expectations at my house outside of the things we normally do. My kids don't tend to come home and ask me why we don't have an Elf on the Shelf or anything like that.

I guess I've finally beat that fight out of them. :)

But seriously. I keep expectations very low in my family and it has made my life a lot easier I think.

by on Mar. 18, 2014 at 9:45 PM

My boys were just excited to wear green. Some holidays are bigger than others here. That is how I grew up and in my husbands family they don't do much for holidays. So it falls on me and I do what I grew up doing.

by Bronze Member on Mar. 18, 2014 at 9:48 PM

I love holidays.  I feel like you can just treat them like any other day or make them special.  Most childhood memories of mine are around holidays.  I want the same for my kids. Does that mean I have to buy them something...nope.  I prefer to make crafts and decorations, do themed worksheets and just talk about the day. Reading about the holiday is awesome too.  I use them as a way to educate my kids not load them up on sugar and buy more toys.

by on Mar. 18, 2014 at 10:03 PM
My boys each get one of those $1.00 "box" of chocolates for Valentine's day, they get a basket with some candy and other things they enjoy, and they get Christmas presents.

THAT'S IT! And for school, they use the store bought cards. Lol
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by Michelle on Mar. 19, 2014 at 9:45 AM

I give small gifts for small holidays. But I love celebrating so it doesn't bother me.

by Gold Member on Mar. 19, 2014 at 10:28 AM

I am SO WITH YOU on that one ... OMG !!!!

Don't. EVEN. get me started on Christmas !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm officially hating this holiday now.

I'm still getting over the Valentine's day fiasco.... which ultimately caused a fight between DD and her BFF on the bus over who was buying / wearing what dress to school because on Vday they had a chic soiree (evening gounds) theme. Holy Hell ! And ended up with me getting a call from the bus driver ... never mind the meltdowns I had to deal with because I wouldn't buy DD a specific gound in a store.  And she would look "stupid" and all the girls will look prettier than me BLAH BLAH BLAH - in the end, school was cancelled that day because of a snow storm.  And well, that just brought on a whole other set of tears.   THEN dd got upset because she was going to her dad's for the weekend and not staying with us, she wanted to have a fancy dinner with me and DH and was upset because she wouldn't ... but since school was out, we still had lunch ... need I go on ????? 

Now it's St-Patty's day ... at DD's school they didn't celebrate Monday (which I was hoping for so that her dad could deal with whole thing for once) but NO they are celebrating Friday for some Stupid reason now ... she must wear Green to school (good thing they wear uniforms huh ?)  she has absolutely nothing green in her closet .... and I find out about this when ?   YESTERDAY when there's nothing St-Patty's day left on the shelves in stores ....  thank you really.

And birthdays ... do your kids expect the earth to move for their birthdays as well ?  This year my DD wanted something "REALLY special" because she was turning 10 - never the fact that I in the past she's had anything from a my little pony party to a Make your own teddy bear party, to a "real princess / magician" on site, a pizza party, a bowling party, a cooking school party, an arts and crafts party.... I told DD this year was the last one of this stature. 

Oh I could go on and on and on ...

by Platinum Member on Mar. 19, 2014 at 2:19 PM

 Not every holiday...and if it is maybe small $1 toys or so or a little candy...

by Bronze Member on Mar. 19, 2014 at 3:21 PM

I agree with this, lol. I don't understand the need to have such elaborate holidays, celebrating the smallest holidays like Christmas, and giving big gifts for everything. Gifts are for Christmas and birthdays here. Easter is eggs and a little bit of candy, maybe a book or two, no gifts. Valentine's day is a small chocolate heart or some chocolate covered pretzels and a card. And St. Patrick's Day? A leprechaun visit with hidden coins, seriously who comes up with this stuff... DD wore a green Hello Kitty shirt with shamrocks on it, and she's actually got some Irish heritage. It seems holidays have become a competition for some reason, but not in this house.

by on Mar. 19, 2014 at 6:26 PM

I love holidays and celebrating but it seems people go overboard.

by Gold Member on Mar. 20, 2014 at 12:09 AM
I think its all how you look at it.
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