Monday, November 24, 2008

Kids are going to oh so pissed at me this year ....

Due to Daniel having to be off work from his surgery, much needed home repairs, Katie smacking a deer with her car, and all the other crap that's happened, I've decided that I'm scaling back Christmas this year. I've meant to in years past but somehow ALWAYS managed to over do it much to our bank account, and me & Daniel's chagrin. This year I'm going to have to for one reason. I just can't do it. While workman's comp is a great thing, one area that really sucks about is that they only pay a portion of what you'd make working. Really pisses me off cos the bills keep coming in and they don't get reduced, WTH should the paychecks, but I'll relent on that for now. Anyways, bottom line is we can't afford the Christmas that I usually do. Nothing wrong with that, as our kids are pretty spoiled (even though they will vehemently deny it), and actually I'm kind of glad for it.

A couple of weeks (months? maybe, I can't remember) I was snooping around on PW's blog, and saw a thingy on "Wrangling Christmas". It was in the sidebar and had to click on it to get the full scoop. PW was talking about how with everything they have going on, she has to be organized in some areas, and Christmas is one of them. By the way, PW lives approximately the same distance from a major metropolitan area as I do, so I really LOVE reading her stuff like this. Anyways, she had a great idea on Christmas and gift giving! She writes down each child with three numbers underneath the child's name. Then beside one number she will write down something that particular child WANTS. The next number she writes down something they NEED. The third number a BOOK (remember folks, she homeschools her brood). PW does that for each of their 4 children. What a spiffy idea...a WANT, a NEED, and a BOOK! Her system makes complete and utter sense. What parent hasn't wanted to give their children things they need just to feel somewhat guilty for the fact that they know someone else's kids are just getting stuff they want? Or for just getting their kids stuff they want, when there are things they actually need? Ok maybe I'm in the minority on that, but you get my drift. Now there's no limit on how many gifts they receive, just that before she goes back to one category, she has to have something in the other categories.

After reading that, I was like WOW, whatta concept! I am SOOOOO doing that this year. Daniel and I have always been at odds about what Christmas is all about gift wise. I was raised that Christmas is about getting stuff that you WANT, he is way more practical and thinks that it should be more about getting what you NEED, with a couple of wants thrown in for surprise. When I told Daniel about it, he was like "Ya it's a great idea if you'll actually stick with it". He has a point, follow through isn't my strong point.

So due to financial necessity, wanting to teach my kids more of what Christmas is supposed to be about (tradition, family, ect), and just wanting a simpler less stressful Christmas season for me, that's what I'm going to do. Well it'll be less stressful before Christmas at least, not so sure about Christmas morning when the 4 kiddos look under the tree and it looks bare in comparison to years past, but I'll deal with that when it comes to that time.

I would love to hear any other ideas for simplifying the holiday season ya'll have. C'mon, quit lurking and let me hear them, I can handle it, I promise!


Persnickety Ticker said...

In my sister's house, they do 3 presents from Santa to represent the 3 gifts from the Wise Men to baby Jesus. They may then still get a couple of small (cheap) things from mommy and daddy. Grandmama is the one that spends a boatload of cash and spoils them rotten. There are 5 girls. With 5 kids you have to have a solid system in place or you would go broke.

Now with my child this year, I hit a Toys R' Us that was closing down and got all kinds of good stuff for 70-90% off. Woot! I will suppliment the big things with a few dollar store items.

I hand make gifts for everyone else like jewelry and ornaments.

We have a theory in our family. When you stop believing in Santa then all you get for Xmas is underwear and socks.

Feisty Irish Wench said...

Out of necessity the year we had a $24.50 Christmas, I made the kids wait till the afternoon, after church and lunch, to open their gifts. Since we almost always spend Christmas w/ Devildog's family, I don't get to hold the gifts till later. I do require that my kids are fully dressed and have eaten breakfast before they open anything. We do let them open stockings while grownups get their coffee and bake breakfast (Christmas morning sticky buns on Flylady's site). Then each person unwraps one gift at a time, so everyone can see what it is, and there's no flurry of paper. Parents are then also able to pay attention to who gets what, for use later in mediating squabbles. It isn't all bad, but it's certainly not how I would do Christmas morning.

Feisty Irish Wench said...

bwahahah funny word verf for a subsequent comment: ltumblob - the egg donor