Bah Humbug?

Trying to enjoy the holiday season while conducting a spending moratorium has been an interesting experience. I’ve never felt like buying gifts has been the major part of Christmas for me. It’s the music, the lights, the movies, the food…but it’s also the gift giving. I do like to bake goodies to give to people, but I also like to buy photo ornaments for my family, books and candy for my friends, toys for my kiddo and grown up toys for my husband.

Yet this year, everything is scaled WAY down. Very few baked goods, no photo ornaments, nothing for my friends except a card (courtesy of my friend, Catherine), nothing for my husband except for socks, and my son will get this:

xmas-giftsWhen I first proposed these four gifts to my 9-year-old son, he was totally fine with it. He even suggested what he needed (an electric toothbrush suggested by his dentist). But that was a month ago. Now that Christmas is almost here, my boy is started to get a little  mopey. He’s mentioned the 4 presents idea a few times in passing, almost like he’s preparing himself so he won’t act disappointed. Both my husband and I have talked with him, explaining that gifts are not what Christmas is about, and he understands that. Yet he’s a kid and I’m sure it’s hard not to be disappointed when you usually have a bunch of gifts under the tree on Christmas morning (and not just from us but from others, too).

But it’s also been hard for me. Like every parent, I want to give my kid the moon. I know he doesn’t need everything he wants, nor should he have everything he wants, but I still wish I could give it to him, you know?

Having said all that, I think the 4 presents is one of the best ideas I’ve ever heard. We did change things a bit–like having a stocking filled with food and we added a family outing to the bunch–but all in all it’s the original idea and I think it’s awesome. Not only do we not spend too much money but we’re not accumulating “stuff” and neither is the boy. We spend extra time thinking about the perfect gift for our son and we’re showing him that Christmas, for us, is about being together and enjoying each other’s company.

And possibly eating our weight in chocolate and cookies and ham and clam dip….but that’s a whole other story. 🙂

Happy Holidays to you all! Enjoy the folks you’re with, my friends!



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