First Christmas

Life is full of firsts these days. My son’s first bite of food, his first shaky attempt to crawl, his first giggle, his first word “dada” (kidding there, honey). Every day presents a fresh opportunity for something new to happen.

Last week was my son’s first Christmas. Now I had been taking copious notes while watching my nephew’s upbringing, specifically when it came to holidays and gifts. So I had firsthand knowledge of the treasure trove of gifts that were about to be endowed on my boy on behalf of both sets of grandparents. Armed with this knowledge, my wife and I strategized appropriately and bought him just one gift. That’s right, his parents only bought him one gift this year. I do realize that feels a bit scroogy, but just behold the results. My son has officially walked (I mean crawled) away with 29 gifts this holiday season, 28 of which did not originate from his parents. I’m certain of this number, as I even performed a recount due to some hanging chads in the stockings.

Which, by the way, leads me to go on a brief tangent and talk about the world’s greatest marketeer. Whoever the genius was that decided Christmas needed to become commercialized should be honored with a statue in the Smithsonian. Why should the holiday truly just be about giving thanks for loved ones when there could be Black Fridays, Cyber Mondays, Tackle-Each-Other-in-the-Aisle Tuesdays, Warring Wednesdays and Tangling-for-Tickle-Me-Elmo Thursdays. It’s become a keeping-up-with-the-Joneses event that escalates every year. The real Santa ain’t wearing red, chugging milk and chewing on cookies. The real one is the marketer who commercialized Christmas.

I digress . . . My son thoroughly enjoyed his first Xmas, as did his parents, grandparents and, I would imagine, the Rumba who performed a robust aftermath cleanup. We only bought him the one gift, but we provided an environment full of love, laughter and lasting memories for each of us. I don’t yet know what my son is thinking, but when he smiles, I completely and utterly melt. His happiness makes me haughty. And I am feeling very haughty these days. Next up . . . NEW YEAR! A celebration that involves a bit of mistletoe, champagne, new goals and no gift buying. Except, of course, for the one I bought my wife. But I’ll keep that a secret for now . . .

Happy New Year to you and yours!

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