I didn’t want to write this article to submit before Christmas in case my boys read it. I didn’t want to spoil their fun. The truth is they don’t read the Local, even the ones I’m in, or anything else if they don’t have to. There is a lot of truth in this article so I begin.
Buying Christmas presents has always been a stress free holiday experience for me. I buy all my gifts on Amazon.com and get them shipped where I want them to go. For example, when my kids were little ones, I would have the presents shipped to my Mom’s house. I wouldn’t get busted and they wouldn’t see that their toys and the magic of Santa was ME. At that time I cared so much, and still do. In my younger parenting years I bought all the “have to have” gifts like the “Tickle Me Elmo” so all their little Christmas wishes would come true. Actually that year was stressful.
My sister always told me little kids, little problem, big kids, big problems and I was like “yeah right” I have toddlers… Once again big sister was right. Times are tough financially for so many people these days and I claim my stake in that line. Christmas gifts are not in my budget. I continually brainwash my children that the real gift of Christmas is “the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ”, which is true and I say it in those exact words like a broken record. Christmas is not about gift giving it is about Jesus! They get that but they want “stuff” too. Big kids, expensive presents.
I ventured out into the perils of Christmas shopping this year and went to Target. There is not enough money in the world to have this elf drive to the King of Prussia Mall or any Mall for that matter. Amazon and Target, that’s it. As I stood around doing one of my favorite things to do, people watch, I could see the stress on the younger mother’s faces. There they were in the toy isles with their carts over flowing with expensive plastic junk. I wanted to give free council and say “don’t stress, put that back, in two days that toy is history,” but I didn’t. Let them celebrate as they wish. I was quite entertained walking down memory lane and grateful that I moved.
This year I have no choice but to be frugal, astute and talented in my gift giving. At least I’m trying to brainwash myself into believing my plan of gift giving will be received with great joy! I am buying my boys mostly things they need and not want. It’s killing two birds with one stone. (I hate that idiom but I went to fleecing etc. etc. and decided to keep it simple). Forgive me birds.
My first trick, the WOW factor under the tree, the big box. Adults know good things come in small packages but at 11 years old, a big box is AWESOME! I bought my son a foam bed topper, and it came in a BIG BOX. He did WANT this and asked for it, so that gift is a score. The size of the box is my gift to myself. Here sadly is where reality steps in but hey, let’s give it a theme. I bought him a bed pillow. I can’t wait to see the joy on his 11-year-old face when he opens that, whoopee a bed pillow! It too will be wrapped in a big box.
I have a fifteen year old who plays golf. He wants a new set of clubs. The set he has now is more than adequate especially for the level he golf’s at currently. I said “I can’t buy you a new set of clubs how about one club?” I was just stalling here. Not only did he request a set of clubs but my research showed that the “one” club he wants cost close to a grand. Are you kidding me? Even if I had that money there is no way in H. E. double hockey sticks I would buy him that. THAT IS NOT THE MEANING OF CHRISTMAS, THAT IS THE MEANING OF THE PGA TOUR! It wasn’t even an option. I know golf means the world to him so I didn’t want to disappoint. I did find him this golf game where you throw dice on fake grass. There’s your clubs, Merry Christmas. I texted my sage older sister and asked if batteries were an appropriate stocking stuffer for kids. She told me “I stopped doing stockings when they were little”. Once again THANKS SIS, I’ll take that suggestion. The magnum opus, the gift of all gifts is the electric heating blanket. This last month I wrote about heating my home. Once with a cord of wood and once when my oil ran out and we had no heat. Well in case that ever happens again, Santa has that covered. As long as my electric is paid.
It’s not as bleak as it sounds, yes it is, no it’s not. I did buy them some “fillers”. A puzzle, a game of zombie dice and other things I don’t remember because I only focused on the gender and price. In my defense, like I need one greater than being broke, is that it was crowed and hot in that store, I had to go. This isn’t the North Pole. I ingeniously have convinced my kids over the last two years to consider the Christmas tree a gift, because it is! My son’s boy scout troop starts them at $60. Hello?
We are starting a new family tradition. Now that they know I’m Santa, I told them the day after Christmas stores cut prices by at least ½ off. We will go Christmas shopping then. They are fine with that. I have good kids.
Do I feel bad, sort of but the reality is the reality and my family knows it. What is that reality? Christmas is about the birth of Jesus. He was homeless and we have a home. All the rest is just clutter, played with and forgotten. Not the true meaning of Christmas.
Merry Christmas to You and Yours!