I am a voyeur on the internet, like many others. I read, rarely comment, even though I am astounded. I believe in the whole “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all” concept and focus my energy on changing MY behavior, instead of harassing others to change theirs.

Over the past week I have been seeing comments and updates about the whole “Santa” thing on the internet.  One post had a note asking people to please reduce the value of the gifts that “Santa” brings their kids at the holidays, to keep it fair and just for those who can not afford such luxury.

This, of course, created a whole series of debates, but had many people agreeing with her, and those who didn’t where strung up on Santa’s sleigh and drawn and quartered by the Internet masses.

And I stayed silent.

I stayed silent because I have seen the “mommy wars” over working from home, not working, or working full time.  The judgments slung out over to breastfeed, or not. Natural delivery, c-sections, tiger moms and the whole huge wide range of parenting ideals.

And each and every time we end up coming to the conclusion that none of it is anyone else’s business but our own.

What shoes my child wears should not matter to yours and if your tween has a phone and mine doesn’t, I will not blame you for our argument.

If you take a family holiday each year, if you have a ski chalet, and if your kids have traveled Europe, while mine stay home, I will not blame you for my lack of adventure.

If you are Jewish, or Atheist or Christian, I will respect your choices and values, and not attempt to change your beliefs.

We are all different and we are all making the BEST choices we can for our families and our lives, despite what others are doing.

As a new mother I got some advice. I was told that everyone around me would share their best tips and tricks for raising kids, and in the end I would listen to some, and discard others. Through it all I would make plenty of mistakes, according to the advice givers, but as long as the mistakes I made weren’t important to me, then I would be doing just fine.

Your house. Your rules. Your parenting, your beliefs, your values.

Spoil your kids once a year at Christmas, or every day. Raise humans that have the values important to you, follow your instincts and only break the rules that have no value to you. Celebrate the holidays however you choose with kindness and as much love as you can.

And please, allow others to do the same.

Respect works both ways folks. We can toss our own values at others as much as we like, but only if you are open to having others do the same back to you.  My suggestion: focus on what you CAN change (yourself) and let others do the same.