Dear Grandparenting: I used to love Christmas. Forgive me for saying this, but Christmas is becoming a nightmare. And guess what? You don’t have to look much further than what my grandchildren have on their wish list.
For what little good it did, I spent more than $750 on their presents last Christmas. When I think back to how it all shook out, my $750 sure didn’t buy much joy.
I did not enjoy buying things I don’t like or understand — video games all about violence and death or some of the trashy clothes my granddaughters mistake for high fashion.
And judging by their reaction, my grandkids were hardly overjoyed to receive such precious gifts. It was either the wrong game or wrong size. Twenty minutes after everything was opened, it was almost like my grandchildren had come downstairs Christmas morning and found there are no presents under the tree. The silence was deafening.
So this year I have my own wish list. I wish to eliminate the stress of going for broke on the perfect Christmas present. I wish for peace on earth. I wish for the gift of time and company from my grandchildren, and I wish them to forgive me for skipping big presents this year. Christmas isn’t about what’s in it for you. It’s about sharing goodwill with friends and family and remembering the less fortunate. Let’s get back to basics! Chelsea Simpson, Phoenix, Arizona
Dear Chelsea: Plenty of grandparents share your sentiments. They’ve had it with the pressure of finding the perfect present, the holiday orgy of materialism and worry about spending at a time when the great majority of Americans live in state of heightened financial anxiety.
According to a Harris Poll of more than 2,000 adults on Oct. 3-5, seven in 10 Americans would skip exchanging gifts if their family and friends agreed.
A majority of those polled were still paying off debt incurred by their holiday overspending in 2016. More than 40 percent reported feeling “pressured” to spend more than they could afford this year. Our inescapable conclusion: Your wish list shapes up as the new normal in more families.
GRAND REMARK OF THE WEEK
Red Smith, of Bloomingdale, Tennessee, got a “big laugh” talking to grandson Louis about the Christmas story.
“My little grandson forgot what the wise men brought to baby Jesus but said he would vote for a Lego set and some cool video games. Where do kids get these crazy ideas?” ”
Dee and Tom, married more than 50 years, have eight grandchildren. Together with Key, they welcome questions, suggestions and Grand Remarks of the Week. Send to P.O. Box 27454, Towson, MD, 21285. Call 410-963-4426.