The 6 Myths of Christmas

Myths #5 & #6: Great Gifts, Good Times

Myth #5: All of those new baby clothes and toys will save time and money.

I personally get much more excited about opening gifts for Grace (cute dress!) than opening gifts for myself. Also, since Grace is blessed enough to get a ridiculous number of things from friends and relatives, Byron and I save a little money and hassle by buying her just one special gift from us and one from Santa. That part is pretty easy.

But all those other gifts are a double-edged sword. With everyone from my sister-in-law's parents to my husband's colleagues mailing things, writing thank-yous takes forever. I'm too lazy to return baby clothes I don't like, but I have friends who spend much of January running from store to store, returning, exchanging; it's like holiday shopping all over again, but in reverse without the fun. Also, Grace is amassing too much stuff, and I don't want her to think that Christmas is all about gifts. The bottom line? That adorable stuffed bear from Aunt Myrtle may be more trouble than it's worth.

Myth #6: My child will have a great time.

Maybe. But a kid younger than 3 is just as likely to be confused by Christmas as delighted by it. The stimulation sends some kids into meltdowns. Others just don't have the reactions you envision. My friend Tammy Nicholas said that her son, Will, grinned at every gift -- and cried as each was taken away so he could open a new one.

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