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This is not my house. This is what my house would look like if my outward Christmas spirit reflected my inward Christmas spirit as it pertains to buying gifts for my kiddo. Photo by Flickr user Paul Vladuchick (Creative Commons license).

This is not my house (dear god). This is what my house would look like if my outward Christmas spirit reflected my inner Christmas spirit as it pertains to buying gifts for my kiddo. Photo by Flickr user Paul Vladuchick (Creative Commons license).

First world problem alert: I can’t stop buying Christmas presents for Jax.

This is the first year Christmas is really going to mean anything to him. He liked his toys and books and cars and games last year, but he didn’t really understand.

This year, we’ve been singing Rudolph in the car. He makes holiday crafts in school. He’s really into a couple of the cartoon Christmas specials (DVR-ed, so we can watch them well into 2016. Hurray!! Sarcasm.). He’s talking about Santa Claus–and I don’t have the energy to battle all of culture and try to dissuade him via one of those anti-Santa, “don’t lie to your kids” tirades–and just kind of gets it. He knows something’s coming.

Man oh man, is something coming.

I can’t stop. I’m on Amazon like daily. I can’t run into any store–grocery, convenience, hardware–without thinking, “Ooo, stocking stuffer!”

By the way, dig my awesome stocking idea. So I decided last year to have this tradition of a Christmas Eve gift of a movie, a snack, and new PJs. Not super original, but a good idea. This year, it’s evolved. The Christmas Eve gift each year will be his stocking, because I was also completely smitten with my stocking as a kid. In my stocking was always some kind of gift I imagined my mother thought I was too young to have: makeup or nail polish or a semi-expensive piece of jewelry, something grown-up. Plus, the stocking trinkets weren’t wrapped! There they were, right there, stuffed down into a sock, for up to a month before Christmas!! Anyway. Jax will get his stocking on Christmas Eve each year, and I’m doing themed stockings. This year, the theme is dinosaurs. Dinosaur pjs, dinosaur movie, little dinosaur figurines (yeah, I added yet another toy to the mix. WHATEVER.), and a dinosaur snack (dino gummies? Oooo, maybe I can find a dinosaur cookie cutter and make homemade dino cookies! To Amazon!).

I have a sickness.

One thing I don’t feel bad about is how many books I got him. Oh so many books. My tendency to justify any and all book purchases for myself has crossed over into my spending habits for Jax, too. He will receive the complete stories of Pooh (A.A. Milne, none of the Disney-fied crap), a Beatrix Potter hardcover gift set, some Seuss, a couple “make potty training fun”-type books, books for his beloved LeapReader Junior, and one of my childhood all-time faves, Corduroy.

Oh I also ordered him this, just yesterday. Unapologetic book gluttony. (And listen, I did restrain myself, because The Snowy Day, Harold and the Purple Crayon, multiple Berenstain Bears books, and the Corduroy sequels are still on my wishlist. For now.)

Then there are the cars. And the Cars cars. And the Cars cars tracks. A Cars-framed digital picture frame for family photos. Nemo wall decals. A coloring/crafts kit I’m building from scratch. New hiking boots.

I haven’t even told you what his big present is yet. I told Twitter, though.

I’m kind of notoriously anti-Christmas, so this is all new to me. Christmas is for kids, anyway, so it doesn’t feel inauthentic to go nuts for little man. And I’m not by any means rich. I’ve been collecting stuff for months. The truth is I forgot about some of it. When a new gift came in the mail, I stuffed it under my bed. I only recently started pulling stuff out and…yeah, I overwhelmed even myself.

Still, lest you think consumerism is about to, you know, consume me, please know that I’m just swept up in the newness of spoiling my kid on Christmas. Please know he’s been very, very good this year and deserves the spoiling. Please know my son and I have done plenty of fun and free holiday things, like driving around to look at lights and drawing pictures of reindeer and wrapping the little things I got him to “give” to other people. Please know that I’ve also made donations to the local DV shelter. Please know that I’m going to participate in canned food drives, and I made a United Way donation through my employer. Please know that I haven’t forgotten what this season is about. Please know I’m not one of those crazy people who thinks there’s a war on Christmas every time someone says “happy holidays” (I say “happy holidays.” I don’t care what you say as long as you aren’t a jerk about it.).

Please also know that I will impart these lessons to my son. When I can get him off the Power Wheels…

What’s the best present you’re giving this holiday season?