Wednesday, March 20, 2013


1) I love it when posts actually generate some thoughtful comments around here!  Yea!
2) I should probably pause and think more before firing off such long-winded stuff, but oh well.  Time constraints cause me to talk too much. : )
3) I don't blame you for skipping the words and just watching the videos on that last post, but I do blame you if you only read the words.  Those vids are priceless!  (Not that I'm biased.)
4) You've rightly pointed out that I'm a huge hypocrite...or at least you got me to thinking about whether I'm more a part of the problem than I realized!  To clarify, my beefs aren't so much with Pinterest worthy stuff/activities/decor/etc.  Craft on, party people! Instead, I think my beefs are with:
  • outside sources (i.e., schools) increasing kids' expectations when parents are none the wiser. (Hello, 6 a.m. wake-up call for "St. Nicholas Day" in December, I'm looking at YOU.)
  • "Tier 2" holidays getting bigger all the time, and more frequent, so that suddenly we've got once a month big time holidays (and Christmas on steroids if we're not careful)   
  • the preponderance of sweets and candy dispensed in schools, [and not to delve too far into a whole other can of worms, but particularly for my food allergic child who has to pass on most of it, or who is given Oreos all the time as a substitute...lovely]. 
  • the abundance of waste being generated by some of these celebrations.  
So, in conclusion, I gots no problem if you want to make the world's greatest homemade paper Valentine.  Or, say, a caterpillar from balloons.  Or a Hello Kitty rainbow cake.  I like to do that stuff sometimes.  I sure hope I never made anyone who doesn't like to do that stuff feel bad about it, but maybe I did?

To a certain extent the onus is on each of us to either not care what anyone else is doing (and not become competitive or be made to feel inferior), or to limit our own consumption of social media if it starts to become a negative influence in our lives.  But therein lies the rub, right?  "Not caring" is easier said than done, because it's a total fallacy to not acknowledge that it's part of the human condition to be influenced by the images and words you're bombarded with daily.

I don't know how to wrap up my ramblings so thanks for indulging me these words and I'll get back to bombarding you with pictures shortly.  : ) 

[3/21/13 ETA:  June's haul today = 1 small plastic basket, 8 plastic eggs, jelly beans, Hershey kisses, a plastic bracelet and some stickers.  Lucky kid.] 


Susan said...

Kate, I didn’t think your post was judgmental at all. I found the tone to be more about laughing at what our society as a whole has come to (something we’ve probably all contributed to in one way or another).

Honestly, I think we’re all just purely overly-indulgent….each in different ways. Nothing wrong with any of these things people are doing (including myself…and I don’t even have kids!), but I see it’s becoming more and more excessive and understand when people question why or get totally worn out by it. Some people won’t agree with me on this, but I think it’s partly a cultural thing and mostly a spiritual thing. I think everyone is trying to fill a void. Whether it’s trying to fill it with more “things” (gifts, candy, etc….) or fill it with affirmation from others (for making that totally awesome and unique v-day card). Or maybe just trying to completely distract yourself from feeling the void at all (by filling up your time making said v-day cards). Unfortunately (and fortunately), it’s a void that I think won’t be completely filled until we meet Jesus face to face. But, I believe that void can be best satisfied here on earth by seeking Him more, rather than over-indulging in earthly things. Definitely not easy though—especially with all this “stuff” to do/see/eat/obtain distracting us all day, every day.

Ann said...

You know, sometimes blogs are just blogs. You shared your thoughts and I think they reverberated with quite a few of us. Please keep at it and don't worry too much about editing. This is your sacred space and we are just readers. I think that's a balance worth maintaining.

katandkarl said...

Dammit. Now I want a Hello Kitty rainbow cake.

Sarah said...

Hey Kate - I loved the article and your post (surprised?). It looks like the author was also criticized for being judgmental and I didn't find either to be judgmental. Anyway, I totally agree with both. I understand the concern about seeming "above" everyone and giving the perception to our children that "we're not like those people" and am frankly not worried about that because my concerns about the physical and psychological risks of going all out with every celebration outweigh this potential, and because my Mom was was one for tempering celebrations and limiting sugar (well, no soda or sugary cereal anyway) and she is definitely not lacking in humility.
I've only had a small taste of this parenting in the land of constant celebrations and have probably stuck my head in the sand most of the time because I want to pretend it's not happening. I really don't know that I could ever have met the standards of yesteryear, and definitely not today. We're fortunate that Mia's school has some pretty strict rules about no sweets, birthday treats can only be low sugar, nut free muffins, and no "characters" that don't exist in reality on Halloween. Seems simple enough, but I guess we take these rules for granted. My sister is apparently tearing her hair out with how many "special days" they have at my niece's school that include cake.

We definitely will not be setting the standards for the holidays. The thrift stores still have a major role in most of our holiday celebrations, and Mia's Halloween candy thus far has been limited to the holiday itself. She knows that when packages arrive from my mother-in-law, she's to hand the candy over right away and "put it on top of the fridge." I know this won't last long, but I do agree that our job these days has become sheltering them from the raining sugar and trinkets. From what I can tell, my sister has been fairly successful with limiting "treats," and keeping them limited to actual "treats." Can you believe our grandparents got excited about an orange in their stocking on Christmas? We're so spoiled.

I think what's happening is that there's a continuum with that stuff, and the range just keeps getting bigger. In other words, there's always been variability in how much families embrace all this "stuff" and the range just keeps getting bigger, because the amount of "stuff" just keeps on growing. I'm guessing that my family was somewhat middle of the road growing up and would now be on the conservative end. Which means I have to even more conservative if I don't want Mia being raised on sugar and petroleum. It's definitely become more challenging. I do feel like we have to teach these limits though because it's going to be even more imperative as time goes on.

Anyhoo, your St. Patrick's Day sounds fantastic and the videos definitely brought a smile to my face :). Adorable!

jessica said...

Kate, I appreciate and agree with your holiday and candy out of control thanks to schools "rant." Not a parent, but back in the early childhood education field for the first time in over 15 years and this is a major issue I'm having and working on.(Big changes to come in 2013) Changing the habits and mindsets of teachers who have been doing this for years is a challenge. I cringe every time I see birthday cupcakes come in, then classroom party donation lists including candy and sweets, AND not to mention SELLING sweets and treats for fundraisers. It's unhealthy AND parents need one more thing to shell out money for besides costly childcare. You've inspired me to be more vocal than I have been in the past on this topic.

Anonymous said...

from Tom T:

Glad to be in the "not blamed for skipping the words and just watching the Vids" group on this one! Whew.