I know times are tough and people are rethinking their Christmas plans, but in a way I think it may be healthy. Let’s face it, we’ve all let our Christmas card lists get to long, we send cards to people we don’t even know, because they sent us a card last year. We send gifts to people we don’t really know, just to extend our circle of friends. It just seems to get out of control, step by step, and it seems that now that we’re all aware of the economy, and a little worried about the future, we’re reviewing our Christmas and actually thinking about what we’re doing, we’re realizing who and what is important to us.
In our family, we’ve cut back on the presents to extended family, let’s face it, a lot of the time, you give and get things that don’t make any sense. You have no idea what the other person has or needs, and they’re in the same position with you. We made a pact with these people to donate in their names to Habitat for Humanity. It serves two purposes, it helps the needy and it lessens our guilt. My wife has been baking cakes and cookies to share with her friends, and work mates. They all seem to enjoy that more than some little trinket.
We talked with our grown kids and asked them to make us something, and we’ve given them gift cards to use. All three are out of the house, and working to make it on their own, so hopefully, the cards will help them with their needs. Also, asking for something home -made challenges them, and will also keep their credit card balances under control. I think every parent worries about our children’s financial situation, so again less Holiday guilt.
We went through the Christmas card list and if we don’ feel like we have a connection with them, they’re gone. I think that this will delete about a third of the Christmas card list.
My wife and I decided on filling Christmas Stockings for each other, and we decided on a group gift, a new Blu-Ray DVD player. Again, it was something we wanted, and Christmas was a great excuse to get it, I’m one of those guys that hold out on buying gadgets until they have been thoroughly debugged. I’d have waited until 2025 if I had my way, waiting for the last improvement. Of course, I’m still using a pager, I’m waiting for the cell phone, computer, TV combo to be perfected.
The outcome of all these changes are that we have a lot less stress this year. I feel like we’ve actually taken the time to realize the real meaning of Christmas, and we’ve helped others in the process. Of course, I hope the retailers are able to survive.