Sunday, November 02, 2008

"You're ruining Christmas!"

That's what my mom just told me over the phone.

"Jessica Lynn! You're ruining Christmas! I'm a grandmother for Chrissakes!"

And here's why...

In September my mom first asked me what the kids want for Christmas. Yes. September. What can I say, the woman likes to plan ahead.

"They don't need any clothes or any toys," I told her.

"What? No toys?!? OK Scrooge. Good luck with that," she said.

"No mom, seriously. No toys. They have waaay too many toys. My whole house is covered in toys. I wake up under a blanket of toys. No toys. Please, I beg you, no toys."

Through her supreme Grandma powers she guilted me down to no INSIDE toys. All outside and REMAINING OUTSIDE toys would be permitted.

"But mom, I swear, if an inside toy comes into the house it's going right back out. I don't care how much they cry."

She proclaimed me heartless, but I stayed strong.

Cut to tonight...

We've worked out a handy arrangement where no inside toys will come here and the kids will get a big brand new OUTDOOR playhouse with a little kitchen area and I'm very happy with that.
But, of course, Nani isn't giving up that easily.

"What am I going to get these children? What will be under the tree?! They have to unwrap something! What will they unwrap? Socks?!"

"Yes, mom, socks. They need socks. I swear, I swear to God, no toys. No. Toys."

"But, just some little toys..."

"No! No toys! I will take a picture of Dylan's overflowing closet of toys and send it to you. There are so many toys you can't step into that closet. The only way that ONE toy is coming into this house is if you get rid of 20 in its place. No TOYS!"

"Well, they're going to have this new kitchen play area..."

"Mmm hmm," I said, sensing the negotiation beginning.

"...well, do they have pots?"

"Yes mom. They have play dishes, play pots, play food, play spoons, play everything. They will have no trouble furnishing their playhouse. No. Toys."

"Jessica Lynn! You're ruining Christmas! You're breaking Santa's heart."

"Mom, he's not real."

"Oh, you Scrooge!"


debdills said...

you are a scrooge! ;)

what about telling them they have to get rid of some toys prior to xmas, or santa won't come? does that work with the modern child?

Jessica said...

In fairness to my mother, her *neglected* grandchildren and in deference to the Holiday Spirit, I DID try that.

I gave Elizabeth a cardboard box (not even a BIG one) and sent her into her room and told her to put some of the toys she didn't like anymore into the box for the "poor kids".

She must have realized that she and her brothers ARE the poor kids because she came out after about a half hour and declared that she needed everything and couldn't give up one thing to the poor kids.


I'll have to get Bob to remove the older children from the house one day and do it myself while they're gone and can't protest.

Andrea said...

Your story cracks me up! I've had very similar conversations with my mom. My kids need clothes though, so I try to get her to do that part. And I am heartless with getting rid of their toys too. I usually collect a bunch, put them in a box in the garage and then forget about them. The idea is once they don't miss them to get rid of them, but they usually just stay in the garage...