I love the holidays. I really do. But I'm so angry and frustrated I wish it was January. I try to give my children a good Christmas. And I think I manage to. I don't do it alone. My mom and brother always help.
Presents are really just a small part. Emma is huge on tradition, so we have many. We always build gingerbread houses, pick someone off the angel tree at church to give presents to, ring bells for Salvation Army (which, btw, we have discovered that if you sing carols people give more and if you attempt the 12 days of Christmas people give even more). We open one present on Christmas Eve and they pretend to be surprised every year when they turn out to be pjs.
For them to get presents for me gets a little tricky. I usually can find a friend to take them shopping, or my brother.
Now, this really shouldn't be an issue for my ex, because he's remarried and they could very easily handle it. But I found out today that they never take the girls shopping for Christmas, so the girls don't have presents to give them. The girls never told me because they know money is tight. But it obviously bothers them, so today I took them out to buy presents. To make matters worse, it turns out they don't even buy presents for the girls. All the presents they get come from their stepmother's parents. Now money shouldn't be an issue, because they make at least three times, maybe four times what I do. They have three cars, one of which cost more than I make in two years.
Now, maybe this is selfish, but having to spend this extra money means that I can no longer do the one thing that I wanted for Christmas. I just wanted to take the girls into the city to look at the Macys (Marshall Fields) windows and then to lunch at the famous Walnut Room by the tree. And I know it is really stupid to let it bother me, we're still going to be able to go and look at the windows, we just will have to skip the lunch.
And I do understand how lucky we are, so I guess I should just shut up, get over it and move on. Hopefully at least I'm setting a good example by doing this and not complaining (in front of the girls anyway).