I mean, Black is my favorite color and it looks great on me, but the day after Thanksgiving – out there with all those people, at Wal-Mart at 4:30 waiting for the doors to open, NOT FOR ME – I don’t care if they are giving away barrels of cash….
But all the advertisements have me thinking about Christmas. I love this holiday, its second to me because Thanksgiving is 1st in my book, but technically Christmas is 1st for me because of the whole Birth of Christ thing…so, guess I have 2 #1’s…. Sorry, I digress.
Anyway, we typically give our kids 4 gifts – Something WRITTEN, something to WEAR, something they WANTED and a catch all of WHATEVER we wanted to give them. A friend of mine does 3 gifts, “If it was good enough for baby Jesus, its good enough for my kids.” I love this and we will be switching down 1 gift next year.
So, what to give the 3 munchkins? Its pretty much a “needs” Christmas. There are things they will need on the land that they don’t really need in suburbia. The oldest boy got Carhart overalls and coat to go hunting and think the younger will get those in one of his boxes (he has to be like his brother) – his lined muck books are also getting too small, so theres something else…. The oldest girl needs a new nice coat… Husband and I are buying guns (I think he likes giving me guns for Christmas, not his first time – of course, this also the man who gave me a large flat screen for my birthday 2 years ago – Happy birthday to me? Or Happy Birthday to you?)
I don’t think I am all that different here. The budget is also pretty set and cash is king. I will pay more for something that will last longer because if something is cheap and wears out faster, where is the savings? Something that can be handed down from boy to boy is golden. Heck, something that can be handed from girl to boy to boy is platinum! Buy from stores out of state that do not have a store in your state and you wont pay sales tax – most places also offer Free Shipping with a minimum purchase or at certain times.
Kids are smart – don’t pretend everything is alright in your family if its not. Have a talk about finances, jobs, economy. Don’t scare them, reassure them that they are fine but things may be hard. Do things together that don’t cost a dime or is a one time investment like a game or a season pass to the zoo or local state or Federal Park. We did season passes one year for our kids’ “Something Written” and it was a hit! Doing the same thing over and over creates memories/tradition which your kids value more than the latest new thing.
A hard Christmas is an opportunity to make a memory in your child’s life that they will remember forever. Not a sad memory, but one of family coming together, valuing what is important and maybe the gift of that 1 special item they wanted. They will value and cherish that 1 item above all the Christmas where they don’t even remember anything from the horde they were given.
Parents – we do the best we can – do not feel guilty about what you would like to do. Be proud of the example of responsibility, hard work, and sacrifice you are setting for your kids and in doing so, will honor the spirit of Christmas and Him for whom we celebrate.