2015-01-02-the-ghost-of-christmas-presents

The Ghost Of Christmas Presents

2015-01-02-the-ghost-of-christmas-presents

For the month of January 2015, both of my books are only $5 each. Buy 2 of them and I’ll give you a free mystery mini print. After January they are GONE FOREVER

I am selling them at or below cost so they can go to Fancy Bastards that will appreciate them, rather than a bonfire. Grab them HERE. 

hijinks-ensue-january-2015-book-sale-2

HEY HEY HEY, did I mention that I have a Patreon?

SCHEDULE NOTICE: I am taking 2nd week of January (01/04 to 01/10) off to recover and regroup from the Holidays. Comics will resume on Monday, January 12, 2015.

A lot of being a parent is dealing with times when you bust your ass to make it seem like something magical just happened all by itself. A birthday party that you stayed up all night cooking and making decorations for, a vacation you  had to scrimp and save for, a present you bought when your kid wasn’t looking and hid for 6 months while they lamented “I’m NEVER gonna get it!” Parenthood is rife with opportunities to feel unappreciated.

But that’s sort of the point. As a parent, one of your jobs is to shield your young child from all the bullshit you have to deal with as an adult just to get through a day, a week, a month or a year in the world. You want them to perceive ease and a care free attitude for as long as possible, because once it’s impossible it is impossible FOREVER. You never get that back. I didn’t appreciate it enough when I was a kid. I was so focused on growing up and escaping my unhappy home life, that I completely glossed over how amazing it was to not have to work or pay bills or take care of another human being.

It’s also important to make magical things “just happen” for your kids, just to see their reaction. The kind of unbridled joy a child experiences on a “pretty good day” is something few adults will ever experience on their best day. Through them, we parents get to recapture some of that joy. I can’t tell you the enumerable unpleasent (to me) situations I’ve put myself in, just to see my daughter light up.

That said, I do try to teach her how to at least recognize and acknowledge situations where hard work and concerted effort by others has been applied, and to at least not do anything to counteract that hard word and effort. “Just don’t be the kid that makes people want to stop doing nice things for others.” Christ, if that isn’t an applicable mantra for most adults, I don’t know what is.

2014-12-31-the-kids-with-the-haul

The Kids With The Haul

2014-12-31-the-kids-with-the-haul

For the month of January 2015, both of my books are only $5 each. Buy 2 of them and I’ll give you a free mystery mini print. After January they are GONE FOREVER

I am selling them at or below cost so they can go to Fancy Bastards that will appreciate them, rather than a bonfire. Grab them HERE. 

hijinks-ensue-january-2015-book-sale-2

HEY HEY HEY, did I mention that I have a Patreon?

My daughter used to act like she felt sorry for us when my wife and I only had a present or two to open on Christmas day, compared to her dozen or so. I’d try to explain how our situations were different. A) We already pretty much have everything an adult of modest means can have. When we do WANT things, we save up for them over the course of a year or so, change our minds 100 times about buying them, and then eventually, probably buy it and IMMEDIATELY feel bad about spending money on non-essentials. THAT is grown up Christmas. B) Other people besides us buy presents for her. She’s young and cute and gives off a certain quality that suggests to relatives, “I am young and cute, buy me some stuff I don’t need.”

Some years, my wife and I will say, “No presents for us! We’re going to buy each other NEW SHEETS!” Then Kiddo gets sad because we are old and close to death and super happy about getting new sheets, which is the worst thing she can think of.” Other times my wife and I will get each other a modest present that is mostly sort of a surprise, or something off the other’s Amazon wishlist and not a surprise at all. We usually keep it well under $100 (and still feel guilty about spending our own money on things that aren’t life sustaining or government mandated).

We try to only get Kiddo one big (or rather MAIN) present, a couple of smaller things and a few trinkets for her stocking. We also don’t really every buy her random toys throughout the year. Mostly she wants books, and I’m not really keen on imposing limits on her reading. So other than birthdays and Xmas, she doesn’t really get a bunch of new stuff. At least not good stuff. Our house fills to the brim with plastic bullshit from McDonalds and the like at an alarming rate. Twice a year (before birthday and Xmas), Kiddo does a GRAND TOY PURGE. This is where all the McDonalds bullshit accumulated over the last 6 months gets thrown away, and everything she doesn’t play with any more or has outgrown gets donated to charity. It’s super important for me to make sure she A) isn’t too obsessed with material possessions, and B) understands that we are fortunate to have more things, food, house, etc. than we NEED and C) that anyone and everyone in that fortunate position should do what they can to help those who aren’t fortunate enough to have all their needs met.

I hammer these points home pretty hard because I was a selfish kid. I was completely obsessed with accruing more toys (CERTAIN toys. I was very particular and very covetous.), and with keeping everything I had forever IN CASE I NEEDED IT LATER. If I ever got rid of something, I insisted on selling it in a garage sale and getting to keep the money for myself. These are not things I am proud of and certainly not traits I want to pass on to my child. I worked hard to get over these issues, and now I figure I can engrain more altruistic behaviors into my daughter while she’s young so that by the time she’s an adult it will just be a part of her nature.

I look at parenting like the Nielson Corporation looks at people. Sample the behavior of one person and extrapolate the likely behavior of 100,000. If I can instill an innate sense of altruism in one person, then I’m doing what I can to fix the world; to fix the future. This kid is the message I’m sending in into space. She’s filled with the things that I think are important enough to preserve for eternity. She’s my emissary into the void, and her mission is to outlive me, be nicer than I was, and teach people to try and be nicer than she is.