My daughter's first Christmas was amazing. She was just about seven months old and doing a lot of the things seven month olds do — sitting up, smiling, clapping — interacting with the world around her in ways that would have seemed unimaginable mere months before. Then there was my son's first Christmas. He was three months old. When it came to making holiday cheer, he was about as capable as a bump on a Yule log. So, sorry not sorry, but I didn't give my kid Christmas presents.
Let me repeat: Three. Months. Old. Don't get me wrong, I loved my children from the time they were the size of poppy seeds living inside my uterus. However, 3-month-old children, if we're being very honest, are pretty boring. I mean yes they're adorable and amazing to cuddle and entertaining in the way that, like, a lava lamp is entertaining, but they don't do all that much. And hey, that's cool. If you think about it the fact that they can do anything is practically miraculous, because it's like, "Just weeks ago you were living inside of me and now you grab something? Holy crap! That's unbelievable!"
However, because my child was in his "fourth trimester," I decided not to go nuts with the holiday cheer or attempt to make his first Christmas ridiculously magical, and that included a complete lack of presents from his parents. After all...
Who The Hell Has Time To Shop With A Newborn?
Like, have you had an infant? Do you know how much time they take up? Plus I had a full-time office job at the time, so it wasn’t like I had a particularly flexible schedule, either. And you want me to fight New York City holiday shopping crowds to get him stuff? You have fun with that. I’ll be over here having none of it.
I Knew He Wouldn't Remember
It’s not like this was creating happy holiday memories for him or anything. He wouldn’t think back fondly on that time he was a 3-month-old newborn and mommy and daddy got him that set of blocks, you know? Granted, not remembering is not in and of itself a reason I would have forgone gifts (if we’re being honest I probably forget half the gifts I’ve gotten in my life at this point, but that didn’t make them any less meaningful or enjoyable at the time), but in conjunction with so many other factors, I thought it was a decent argument.
He Didn't Care
A 3-month-old kid doesn’t know it’s Christmas. A 3-month-old kid thinks the discovery of his or her own thumb is novel and exciting. So I knew I wasn’t disappointing my baby because he had no expectations whatsoever.
My Kid Didn't Even Know What To Do With Toys At The Time
Sure, I could have a small mountain of toys under the tree for him on Christmas morning. Sure, he would stare at them and be, like, “Shape. Color. Texture. Cool.” I could also put a pile of laundry under the tree and he’d probably have the same reaction. Honestly, chances are he’d be more into the laundry than gifts because that’s how kids roll.
He Already Had A Ton Of Toys
Even though he didn’t really play with toys yet, he’d already received a ton of them before he was even born from friends and loved ones. My shower was a cornucopia of adorable teddy bears, brain-building educational doo-dads, and loud plastic nightmares that nevertheless entertain small children. So I knew, when the time came, he already had a treasure trove of playthings to occupy him. He didn’t need any more.
He Had Grandparents Who Wanted To Spoil Him
“Oh I can’t not get him presents!” my mother would say.
“Gift-giving is my love language!” my mother-in-law cried.
Far be it from me to deny a grandparents God-given right to spoil their grandbabies a little bit. OK. Fine. Give him gifts. Then I can post a picture of him “opening” a gift on social media and still appear as Christmas-y as anyone else. Win-win.
He Was Already Expensive Enough That Year
They’re worth it, but my God kids cost a lot of money. The co-pays from the 907 pediatricians appointments he’d been to in his first three months could serve as his holiday gift. Merry Christmas, kid. You’re immune to polio.
It Felt Stupidly And Strictly Ceremonial
Seriously, just stop and think about it. I buy toys, wrap them, and put them under the tree only to carry my child downstairs the next morning, pick up those same toys, and unwrap them for him while he stares? That’s dumb. It’s like buying yourself gifts, only you didn’t get anything you’d actually enjoy.
I'm A Hippie
Because, Christmas is, like, so commercial, man. Christmas is about fellowship and love and peace on Earth. Why don’t we all just cuddle up by the fire with the other families in our drum circle and commune with one another’s auras?
OK, not that hippie, but I can rant about materialism with the best of them. (Even today we like to keep things simple.)
He Had Been Naughty
No seriously, I'm really just kidding. However, wouldn’t that be kind of funny? Like, “I was in labor for 18 hours so there's no way that boy is getting on the nice list this year. We’ll see what next year brings.”