Outgrown Christmas?


The time for Santa and barns perched quietly under a silent night is upon us and this is the last week of it.

It seems that not only does Christmas come faster and faster each year, but each year I lose more and more interest. So much so that when Baby A. shakes her little collection of jingle bells that Sarabeth stitched together for her, I constantly inquire over the ringing, “You know, we really ought to get you some bells that actually work.”polar-express-bell

(Eh? Anyone? Anyone? If you don’t get it, send this post to Tom Hanks – he’ll appreciate the reference. And if he doesn’t, try sending it to Tom Hanks…)

I was driving home from work one night recently and didn’t even notice the bright array of Christmas lights fashioned on our colonial-style houses lining our street until I reached the end of the road and I thought a policeman was pulling me over.

I’m not any nicer to people in December than I am in May. I can hardly stand to bare one more verse of “Joy to the World” and I kinda want to punch the snowman that looks like a circus clown and use his remains to fill my dog’s water bowl.


But I was thinking. Maybe it’s not so bad not getting into the holiday spirit and Fa-la-la-la-laing around the Christmas tree. I’ve got air in my lungs; a beautiful, funny, nearly-perfect wife (who is the true Top Chef); two trouble-making, sunbeam-obsessed dogs; an adorable, messy, loud, and hilarious baby girl; a job that pays the bills; a healthy and diverse library overflowing with priceless books…

So Christmas. Yeah, it’s nice to get presents and sing “Holy Night” at church with a dimly-lit candlestick dripping hot wax on your hand and all that.

But honestly, maybe life’s good enough as is, and Christmas is just an added sidebar.

Published by Andrew Toy

Writer when I'm not being a husband or dad. So mostly just a husband and dad.

32 thoughts on “Outgrown Christmas?

  1. Reading that did not waste my time, I appreciate you and your thoughts, they are not too sweet, not bitter, just about right and nice ones. Me? I’m bar humbug mostly about the disgusting avarice and waste, but with a watery eye seeing kids open shoe box presents. What a mixed up world we live in and yet the universe is still basically a friendly place.

  2. You know as I get older and my kiddies (now 16 & 14) grow up, I find sometimes – initially – I have to work at getting my Christmas cheer clapping. I, like you, am a year-round happy sort (most of the time). I’m content with life and count my blessings often.
    The thing I notice (angry/panicked…holiday shoppers excluded) are people sometimes (not always) – maybe down on their luck or not with a fortunate life or who have much, but don’t appreciate – striving to be a bit happier or a bit more helpful…and sometimes I think therein hides the true magic of the holiday…in those tiniest of moments when someone holds a door for someone else and the other person says, “thank you.” I guess, for me now, that’s more Christmas than a ringing bell.
    Happy WInter!!! And a Merry Christmas 🙂
    AnnMarie 🙂
    You have a lovely family.
    I do love falling asleep to Christmas movies this time of year – I make my husband a bit nutty 🙂

  3. That is a lovely piece, and I guess, we do outgrow celebrations, Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries… But you know, Andrew, that’s where the kids make a difference, they keep us young because they love to celebrate – everything!
    My boys – 13 and 6 will make me do the complete drill of getting Christmas gifts, baking a cake, hanging out with friends, and guess what, we are not even Christians! But I guess that’s what the Christmas spirit is all about… loving, sharing and connecting. Here’s wishing you and you family a lovely Christmas season… and may you always be happy!

    1. Your reply is wonderful! You are so right in all you have said. Your family is blessed to have you. I wish everyone had your beautiful spirit. A Christian and a non-Christian most certainly can be best friends! Have a great holiday and a very happy new year.

    2. I do love that my daughter makes me imagine new things and sing different songs all the time. Definitely keeps me young somewhere inside.

  4. Nicely written, honest piece. I am one of those that still loves Christmas. I have long since outgrown the commercialism of it. Frankly, that part annoys me sometimes. I love the magic of it. The lights, the songs, the joy in babies eyes ( not those greedy ass bigger kids that only want, want, want). It’s hard to explain, but I still love it. I don’t gift for the sake of gifting or to impress. I do it as a true mark of appreciation for the person that I am gifting, and sometimes it may just be a positive thought. i still just love it. Meryl Christmas.

  5. First, I’m the only non- Jehovah’s Witness in my family. That makes Christmas shopping real short, also means I’m getting nothing for Christmas.
    Since I belong to a more traditional church, it occurs to me that so much of the season has become retail-focused that it’s not a surprise that you lose the spirit. They’re pushing “Black Friday” deeper and deeper into Thanksgiving Day that soon we’ll think the whole thing is about buying stuff you can’t afford with money you don’t have for people you don’t even like, and somehow you’re supposed to be cheerful about this.

    God became one of us in order to restore fellowship between man and Himself. God loves you and me so much that He, the Almighty, became the weakest of all– a baby– so that we can be friends with Him again as it was in the Garden before the Fall. Now, that’s something to celebrate. Scrap all of the pagan symbolism we’ve hauled into this— at its core this is about God restoring fellowship between us and Him. And THAT is something to celebrate.

    1. Thank you for stating what Christmas is all about. With the over commercialization of it (Think Charlie Brown Christmas) a lot of people lose focus of the true meaning of Christmas. While I understand not everyone is a believe (I am) I wish more people were to help them truly understand what Christmas is about.


  6. I am so glad to find someone who feels exactly the same way I do. I guess I’ve been feeling somewhat guilty about feeling this way, because I used to be such a big Christmas buff. But this year I’m just not feeling it; not buying into (pun) the big hype. Feeling grateful every day of my life! Thank you for this post as I adjust to my new feelings and beliefs. Merry Christmas!!!! lol

    1. I feel a bit guilty, too, but I’m glad you understand – too many other good things in life for Christmas to outshine.

  7. So many people feel this way at this time of year. I used to as well. But then you shoulder the responsibility of teaching your kids about Christmas and it takes on a whole new meaning. Baby A is still too young, but in the next few years, you guys will have to decide what to teach
    her about Christmas. You may think right now “It’s all about Jesus, duh”, but get ready. You will find that parenting Christmas is a THING, not to be taken lightly by Christian parents. So perhaps in a desire to keep your kids focused on the right thing, you will develop traditions…Advent wreaths…giving trees…a countdown of good deeds…and before Baby A is 8, this will happen: You will find yourself in the aisle at Target, buying clothes for the giving tree at Church, watching Baby A jump up and down with excitement as she explains to you exactly why the ornament that says “One long sleeved shirt, size M” is not enough, of course, it’s not, so silly, everyone needs more than one shirt, and these are on sale so why wouldn’t you buy three of them???? And just like that, you will have brought the joy of Christmas–the right kind–back into your life.

  8. I love the spirit of Christmas – the love of sharing with others, but I really hate that people feel that they have to buy and buy and buy, even when the person they are buying for just does not want or need anything. I find it really hard to show joy over a gift that I didn’t want and don’t need, but got because someone feels the need to give it to me. I love when someone helps me get the meals ready, or cleans up after or spends time with the kids so I can rest. I love buying gifts which I know someone needs or wants, but the obligation of giving just because it is “expected” is painful. Christ saw our need and he came to give us the gift of eternal life. We need to celebrate that every day of the year.

  9. Becoming a parent changes one’s perspective on so many things. As a parent of two twenty-something year old daughters, I have found that my perspectives on holidays and families have changed, along with theirs, over the years. I wish we all could act in the spirit of giving experienced this month in the other 11 months of the year, too.

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