If there is one good thing to come out of this economic downturn, it’s that I can use it to my advantage to cut back on Christmas gifts this year. While both CareerMom and I are blessed with our jobs, and thus aren’t being affected as much as a lot of people this year, the recent financial strain has caused everyone to re-evaluate their gift-giving priorities.
For instance, I have roughly three mothers:
- My bio-mom (Hi Bio-Mom!)
- My adopted mom
- The mom who mostly raised me after “adopted mom” split up with Dad shortly after the adoption. Hey, nothing says, “We made the right choice honey!” like walking out on your family two years after taking on a couple of kids.
Very recently, I came to the conclusion that perhaps I was old enough now that I could/should both A) Stop receiving gifts from my parents and B) Stop giving gifts to ALL of my parents, and siblings, and anyone else who has laid claim to my life thanks to my tree’s many and various branches.
I don’t come to this conclusion lightly because I do love to see those gifts under the tree with my name on them and I do really enjoy giving gifts to my loved ones. In that respect–and many others if I’m being honest–I’m still a kid. And while I’m not sure any of us ever really outgrow getting presents, there comes a time when your own little family takes center stage. We don’t really buy our kids many toys over the course of the year, so Christmas is kind of our chance to not only get something fun for them, but also to get something that we won’t mind sitting on the floor playing for the next twelve months. Also, CareerMom’s brother was diagnosed with Parkinson’s a few years ago. He’s 41 this year and has eight kids (yes, eight!). They need all the help they can get.
So this year, I have asked that my parents not get me/us anything and just get the boys something if they so desire. Or, if they feel led, take the money they would spend on us and spend it on a needy family. And when I say “needy” here, I mean “really trying and coming up short,” not “lazy” (the Obama pre-election infomercial comes to mind…)
In truth, most of what I want costs waaay more than anyone can afford (myself included) and I suspect the same can be said for the majority of people I’m buying for this year. So why do it?
I’m not a scrooge folks; really I’m not. I did my lights outside this weekend and CareerMom has the house looking very festive. We even took the boys to the tree farm and cut down a real, live, honest-to-goodness Christmas tree on Saturday. So see, I’ve not lost my Christmas spirit–I’ve only shifted it a little–perhaps more inline with the way it should be for someone my age. (this growing up stuff sux!)
But all is not lost; don’t think the Wii the boys are getting for Christmas isn’t for me as much as it is for them. I just have to find the quiet time where I can play my games rather than anything with the name “Mario” in it!
Oh also, my 10-year anniversary is coming up next November, and as of right now, I have nothing saved up for an Anniversary Gift/Trip/memorable anything.