So, now that Thanksgiving is over, we all know that it’s that time again. As my children get older (and so do I); I find that Christmas is less about giving than it is about spending time together. While I loved the whole Santa thing (and yes, the gifts were overwhelming on many a year), I find that all I really want to do is spend time together as a family on Christmas. I find that I spend less (money or gift certificates are good gifts); and I enjoy that. No longer do I have to pretend that I’m “rolling in the dough” and give gifts that I can’t afford. I actually have friends who put all their gifts on charge cards, take until November of the following year to pay them off, and begin again. How insane is that? And, who needs the stress that causes. They claim that they don’t want to disappoint their adult children. Really – they’re adults!
When I was young, we never got tons of gifts. A few (two or three) gifts and your stocking. I couldn’t believe the number of gifts that my school-mates received. Of course, that made the gifts that you did get really special. And that’s what I aim for. Since I can’t know exactly what truck part my son really wants, I usually give him some money and his stocking. And of course his Sports Illustrated Calendar. My daughter usually gets money for college and her stocking and whatever calendar she wants that year. My husband usually gets a gift certificate, his stocking and his Sports Illustrated Calendar. See where this is all going? I’ve decided not to wrap much! (Just a note, but I’m not the “crafty” type, and wrapping is actually torture for me.) I also buy some movies that we really want as a family. Usually there are a few, and they each get one or two to unwrap.
Now, I hope that you don’t think that I’m a Scrooge, but seriously. When my kids or my husband really want something, they just buy it. I don’t feel that it’s my job to put us into debt every Christmas. As someone who isn’t religious, the holiday to me is about celebrating family. And, that’s what we do.
Every year I think about what I want. This is a hard thing to come up with. I’m not exactly materialistic. My car is something that gets me from place to place; my clothes are rather limited since I hate to spend money. And I’m not really into knick-knacks. When they were younger the kids bought me plenty of those, so I certainly don’t feel deprived. What do I want this year? I’m going to donate some money to a few of the charities that I know of who use 98% of the money donated to help the causes they claim to help. If you are looking to donate money this holiday season, here are a few places where you can check out their actual donation amount.
Most of all, what I’m trying to say, is that this season should be about love and family; not what you can get. Material things can’t love you back; but people can.