>I had planned on featuring our Christmas decorations this week, but as they weren’t completely finished before the unfortunate camera spill, I’m making you wait until next week. Sorry my friends!
After spending Black Friday somewhere between Walmart, Kohls, and the MALL (why oh why?!), I’ve decided to do a little discussion on Christmas presents today.
We really didn’t buy that much, except for some much-needed clothes for Scott and some of those bargain DVD’s, and in wandering around, I found myself beginning to wonder.
I saw so many people completely piled up to their ears like in cartoons, arms full of this year’s latest toy, the latest iPod (excuse me…iPHONE…or is it iPad?? ack.) model on sale, and lines wrapped around stores three times over all for 40% off clothes that were too expensive to begin with.
Through certain circumstances this year, we’re a little tight on money for Christmas gifts, and I know we’re not alone. So it continues to baffle me why I see all my fellow strugglers loading up with gifts and stretching credit limits when the mortgage payment continues to fall behind.
Now don’t get me wrong. I know that many people do it the right way – they save up money, and spend it at retailers which in turn stimulates the economy. Or I guess that’s what they say. I could probably go on another tangent entirely about how Black Friday deals really aren’t that great except on few token items.
My point is that it frustrates me to see parents still buying boxes and boxes of the latest toys that will get played with for 15 minutes and then thrown in a closet, all to create the illusion of a lush and wealthy Christmas for their children, when things really aren’t okay.
When I was growing up, both my parents worked at our family business. We sold boats, boat parts, and performed maintenance and service. And as anyone in the boat business knows, winter is a time when the dollar has to be stretched in order to make it back to the summer. So needless to say, we didn’t always have wealthy Christmases. My parents always made sure there were plenty of gifts, and I’m sure sometimes at the expense of bills getting paid, but we were never under the illusion that we were getting all the latest things just because it was Christmas.
When I look back on Christmases in our family, I don’t remember all the gifts we received, but really just the memories. I remember my parents sprinkling red glitter on the front porch and telling me it was dust from Rudolph’s nose. I remember mornings of leaping on my parents’ bed with my brother, begging for them to get up. I remember services at church, bellowing Handel’s Messiah loudly with my dad while playing relentless games of Scrabble. I remember baking bread and watching Charlie Brown’s Christmas with my mom. I remember the way our house smelled and looked, full of warm food and twinkling lights.
And to me, those were the best Christmas gifts. We learned to make do, to be creative, and to be appreciative of the gifts we did receive and what we had because it was still more than many other hungry families around the world had.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the materialism of the season. Brother needs this and this. Co-worker needs that. Might as well go ahead and buy this because it’s so marked down. Heaven knows I’m guilty of it.
But I hope that during this period of economic downturn that we remember to spend a little less time shopping and a little more time making memories with our families. Because what are your children going to remember – that you bought them the latest video game? Or that you took time out of your day to do an art project, watch a movie, bake, or play a game with them.
Throughout the month I’ll be posting ideas of homemade Christmas gifts and recipes, but what I hope you really remember on this Merry Monday (or Tuesday, as life may have it), is to enjoy your family and friends. Throw parties. Go caroling. Play games. Enjoy each other’s company. And take time to remember the reason for this season.
Have a merry day!