Sunday, December 18, 2011

Santa, Birthday party (two topics, long post)

So I was just going to write something short... At ten o'clock my diary program pops up and I say... Oh, ten o'clock I should get ready for bed,... and then ignore it.  So I decided today I was not going to ignore it... but maybe I should write something....

I wasn't going to ignore it because I'm sending little star to playcare every morning next week rather than three full days, and want to get him there at a reasonable time in the morning so he gets some time there and I get something done.  I plan to take him home so he doesn't have to NOT nap there for two hours.  He's not been sleeping at nap time, and its become a problem.  This plan entails actually getting out of bed before 8 am, and therefore suggests going to bed reasonably as well.

 I just had to post about Santa.  I found out last night that TWO moms I know are not planning to do "santa" with their families.  That's two out of five who were at a moms2moms gathering... who are Christian. So, I mean, if even CHRISTIANS are opting out of Santa, can they please give my Jewish family a break and stop pushing it on us?  NOT everybody has Santa.  Yes, there are EVEN Christians who don't do Santa.  Its so "secular" Christians don't even want it.   

Really, I was quite encouraged by this surprising development.  Yay for serious Christians.  When I say serious, I mean the ones who are NICE- they may or may not be fundamentalist, but they take the whole loving kindness aspect of Jesus seriously.  They are responsible generous open minded people who can put themselves in another's shoes.   These are people we would all recognize as good people, and I know whatever religion they ended up in they would find the good things in it to practice. The Christian ones that I know tend to see these fine attributes as directly related to their faith, so that is why I single them out, and in a positive way say they are "serious" Christians.

I was thinking that some time my son might ask what Santa is because somebody will be sure to talk to ask him what Santa is bringing him/has brought him/ what he wants from Santa... it's happened in past years.  I would tell him Santa is what SOME Christian's pretend, and maybe he tells all his friends...  Of course this will never happen because despite Santa being pushed on everyone, my son doesn't care enough to ask, and even if he did know, is not likely to talk about it with other kids.   And of course, really, that's not a very nice thing... so I haven't really told him much about Santa, but I figure I should tell him about Christmas.  

You see I was just going to ignore it, but then a friend of mine asked me about Chanuka books for her kid- she wanted her kid to know about other people's holidays.  Here I thought the few Chanuka books I saw in the library were token for people like us, but no, perhaps other people do read them.  I realized that as much as Christmas annoys me personally, my kid, also, should know about other people's holidays.  Well, now I can tell him that not all Christian kids do Santa.  

And that Chanuka book I got out of the library- its probably the best Chanuka book we have -and we have PLENTY from the PJ library and other sources- which is silly because in the Jewish tradition, Chanuka is not an important Holiday.  Its not even biblical.  I hate the commercialization of Chanuka just like some Christians probably don't like Santa. I know one of the mom's said something about they didn't like lying to their kids, but I'm not sure if this is the primary reason they don't do Santa.  

Of course just a few weeks ago I found out about the Dutch Santa through facebook and I was feeling mightily happier about the American idea. You can read this One article about it or just type in Dutch Santa into Google to find out what I am talking about.

Well, I just had to write something about Santa.
And given that Chanuka starts in a few days, I really have to schedule my son's Birthday parties a bit farther from the Holiday.  Yes, I finally got around to organizing him a four year old party.  I had to invite NINE kids, and that was leaving out a few.  This relates to the four parties he already went to, and kids his age at play care and other reasons.  So Seven actually came and of course their parents which makes over twenty people if each kid brings two parents- some did, some didn't but you don't actually know in advance.  Anyway, I was lucky enough to reserve a room in our community center for this event.  For FREE.  Our house just doesn't cut it for that many people.  The space worked well- we even got to set up my son's little play house that takes up the whole living room at our house.  

The only expensive thing was that we had to feed everyone.  After making cupcakes, frosting them, jello (my son's favorite), cutting some fruit,...well, I was so pleased when my husband suggested I should just order pizza to feed everyone.  No brainer.  Expensive, but worth it, and now we have a lot left over.  I felt pretty bad about not providing the right food for the one child who is allergic to everything except the jello and fruit, but his parents did say they would provide for him- which they are used to doing.

You see there was just a lot of food prep that week. I was also baking cookies for a cookie exchange the same night- it was more baking than I EVER do.  To get little star to help I asked if he'd make cookies with me and he said he wanted to do cutout cookies- it was the second time he'd asked, and we'd never done it before, so how could I refuse?  It seemed to take all day- dough in the morning, cutting in the afternoon.  The next day more cutting; frosting.  I did the next day without him because you just don't want dirty four year old hands all over cookies you are planning to give away- and it would have taken doubly forever.  So I let him try the cookies.  "They are too hard" he said, and again, I'm off the hook for giving him cookies.  He doesn't like them.

Now about the birthday party- it was low key, pleasant, not dramatic.  Kids were happy, they played, parents talked calmly, hanging out in their own cliques, but I don't really care- I just wanted everyone to be happy, and I think they were.  My son was happy even though it was all parallel play on his part. He watched the kids, played, and got jello.

I knew that even telling people gifts were not expected would not stop the gifts, so I wrote gifts were not expect, but if they felt the NEED to bring one I wrote what my son was actually interested in to help them out.  The first thing I wrote was that he likes soft fury things - I think I forgot the word furry-... like a stuffed animal.  Did he receive ANY stuffed fury animals?  No.  I thought this was a no brainer.  I think I'm going to have to buy him one.  Actually he did get this teddy bear thing, but its not soft and fury, its like a rag doll.

He did get reasonable gifts (I did mention he wasn't familiar with media characters so that really helped!)... sort of.  He got some books- also on my list, so that's great.  He received two small building toys (legos and erector set) that he will EVENTUALLY like... for a four year old party why would you buy toys that are age rated 5+?  Well, he WILL eventually like them, so I'm not complaining, I'm just surprised/confused.  Maybe busy people just don't read/trust the ratings, or maybe their kids are more advanced than mine is- quite possible.   He sure liked the stickers.

He also got two battery powered toys- a zhuzhu pet that he loves, and a nanobot (buglike thing)- that he also loves... that the battery already died on this afternoon- we opened it this morning. The pet might last longer since it sleeps by itself.  I can totally see why he likes these, but I'm not going to replace the battery every day.  Maybe he'll learn?  I admit I'd rather have a fake bug in my house than a real one... and a fake hamster than a real one.  But I can see that a real one would be much better... intellectually.  Fact is I'm NOT getting my kid a real hamster or having bugs in my house- and they are in short supply outside in the winter (aside from ANNOYING LADYBUGS), so really can't complain here. Thanks for the toys.

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