Many look forward to this time of the year and enjoy the family celebrations and traditions. However, many people are especially depressed this time of year – maybe they are alone or have suffered a painful loss.
For the most part, I enjoy this time of year. People are more pleasant, the lights are nice, and there is time off from work. Trifecta! However, there is something about the holidays that troubles me. Let me backtrack, if I may. My wife takes present buying very seriously. She will search and search until she finds the ‘right’ present at the right price. Gift buying is truly a skill that my wife has mastered. In fact, it could be the subject of a blog entry in and of itself, but I will restrain myself for now. Anyway, my wife buys the gifts and strategically plans out which night is the right one for each gift.
Gift receiving is also serious business in my house. You can’t count to three seconds after the candles are lit till the children are saying, ‘Go get the gifts mommy (they don’t even acknowledge that I may be part of the process).’ It is this moment where the tension is palpable. Will they like the gift – squeal in delight even, offer a thank you without being prompted because they are so excited or will the gift be wrong? Will it be a gift that they did not expect or want and induce disappointment and complaining or at worst loud sobbing, kicking, and screaming?
Well, Channukah 2011 or 5772 got off to an interesting start. My wife called it ‘O’ night – Lego for my older son and Play-doh for my younger son (I thought it was clever). My older son said thank you repeatedly and was thrilled – couldn’t have been happier. He got started on the Lego Fire Boat right away and passed the evening working on it. My younger son, on the other hand, screamed as if he were being beaten mercilessly. I am not sure just what the issue was as I could not make out his words through the tears. He actually had to be put on a time out in order to calm down.
So, this time of year has its ups and downs. It can be a joyous and special family time. However, it can also be a tense time. Either way, I am not sure if I can take 7 more days of this.