A reader responded to “I’m dreaming of a stripped-down Christmas” with a description of her 7-year-old’s Yuletide experience:
“There are so many gifts from extended family, it actually stresses him out to open them – usually there’s a good one in the first two or three and he wants to stop and play with it, not have it taken away and have to open 10 more things.
“It looks like ingratitude, and that’s a little of it – we’re lucky to already have everything we need and most of what we want, so he’s not that into new stuff – but it’s mostly sheer overwhelm at being the center of attention and having so many people around and then having to switch focus every moment.”
I saw a bit of that myself on Tuesday as I watched a young child open a massive pile of presents. He was a little stressed and cranky by the time he was through. In fact, he had to be coaxed into opening the last few packages.
When my oldest great-nephew was a toddler he was well-nigh buried in loot on Christmas morning. At one point he was nearly in tears, saying “No more!”
No more. Would that have happened when you were small?