Who's Afraid of Veruca Salt?

I am fairly sure you all remember Veruca Salt, the spoilt brat from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory who gets thrown down a garbage shoot for being such an entitled little shit. She is the epitome of everything I do NOT want any of my daughters to be. I detest people like her, at any age, and would not wish such a fate upon my girls.

Thus, I have done my best not to spoil the girls with material goods. Yes, I “spoil” them with attention and affection … but they also get consistent discipline and hear the word “no” a lot. I have even go so far in the land of no-material-spoiling that for their birthday the only present they get from us is their party. They like having their parties at the local gym (which has a zip line and other fine things) which isn’t cheap. I also request that people not bring gifts, but make a donation to Heifer International instead. Thanks to aunts and uncles and grandparents my kids get plenty, and they need to remember other children aren’t so lucky.

The only time I really buy them gifts (other than a rare surprise) is Christmas. Even then, I limit the number of goods they get. We buy them one “big” present that benefits them all (like the X-box 360 that I just swathed in Santa-covered paper) and then ten presents a piece that were less than $20. Half of those will be clothes I snagged throughout the year at Gymboree sales. It is clearly not spoilsville up in here.

Nevertheless, when a total of 30 presents (plus a couple for Sweet Babou) stack up around the tree it makes me feel as though I am Veruca Salt’s mommy. Part of it is that I use big boxes for a good effect on Christmas morning, but it is still a hell of a lot of stuff inundating the Tannenbaum.

I think they feel like too many presents because I have started to wrap the bastards. I’m less than a quarter of the way done and already I am sick of it. I am a piss poor wrapper, anyway. My edges don't line up. It looks like weasels gnawed the paper. I always cut crooked even though there are now lines printed on the back of the wrapping paper.

Bah Humbug.