I know it’s three days before Christmas. And I know that there are roughly 742 other things I should be doing right now besides this, but I am taking a moment to reflect. Indulge me, won’t you? : )
The holidays are upon us, as we all know. What I didn’t realize was that the holidays would tackle and attempt to maim me with all their festivities and joyfulness and craziness and—holiday-ness. We all feel the pressure of Christmas and all that it entails, but this year it all started to feel so completely unnecessary to me.
Don’t get me wrong; I love Christmas and the Christmas music and the trees, the lights, and the overall magic of it all. My girls have literally going insane with anticipation. But that’s part of the problem I’m seeing this year. The anticipation. Anticipation/insanity!
I guess this is the problem: I look around and I see people that are stressed, worn out and grumpy because they’ve spent the last few weeks or months trying to find the perfect gift for everyone on their list. They’re spending money they shouldn’t buying gifts no one needs for people who may or may not appreciate what they’re being given.
I’ve been rereading Dave Ramsey’s ‘Total Money Makeover’ as we attempt to get our finances in check once and for all. One of the things he says in the book that really hit me hard this time was—in summary—that the problem we usually face with being smart with our money is that we get so hung up on what everyone else is thinking of us. And for me, that’s so true.
This year we are spending very little on Christmas. Mr. Bug and I are not buying gifts for one another and our gifts for the munsters are small and inexpensive. They’re getting a few little candies in their stockings, PJs to open Christmas Eve (all of which I found either on clearance or secondhand), a book for each of the girls, and a DVD to share. Their big gift this year is a fish tank (which I got for free) and we will all go together to pick out a few little fish to go in it. We also got Eden a drawing pad and some pencils (since she has maintained her artist dreams for months now) and we got Sissy a little kit to make her own garden stepping-stone. Judah gets a Cars chair that I found secondhand for $5. All told we will probably spend a little under $60 on our kids for Christmas this year. I think $20 per kiddo is pretty good, don’t you? : )
As far as the rest of our family goes, the total for our brothers and sisters and moms and dads and nephews will end up at around $5 per person. At least that’s what I tried to keep it to. That sounds like so little and for some people it’s completely incomprehensible, but I tried to make each gift, however small, personal to its recipient. I’m hoping everyone will be excited with what we’ve got for them.
All that to say that I’ve been fighting off that urge this year to go overboard with the commercial meaning of Christmas. I wanted to get Eden and Adaleine’s teachers pretty gifts that would make them “oohhh” and “ahh,” but this year they got hot chocolate tied up with a pretty ribbon. For some reason, the teacher gifts were the hardest for me to skimp on and the biggest victory when I overcame that urge. With the girls attending a private Christian school there are a lot of families there with considerable income. We are able to send Eden to school there with scholarship assistance, which we are so grateful for! I think I feel the need at times to compensate for that by going overboard with gifts and such to show how ‘no one else is any better than us.’
It’s so silly, isn’t it? Maybe it’s just me and I’m letting the commercial season take its toll on me. Maybe it’s just the cloudy weather and the fact that we’ve been having car trouble. Maybe it’s the fact that almost everyone in my little family has been sick and we’re all exhausted. But I’m ready for a little simplicity. I’m ready to take control and pare down all the excess in my day-to-day. I want my little blessings to know that each and every bit of our life can and should be appreciated and used as a springboard for us to bless others.
I’m hoping to have a few more ‘Poop in a Group’ posts coming for you as we embark (such a fancy word) on this journey. I may even find a way to put together a more coherent post as opposed to this rambling thing you’re reading now. : ) Either way, enjoy this holiday. Enjoy it as a time to be with your family and remember that there is one True Reason we are celebrating. And it has nothing to do with Barbies, HDTVs or any Apple device.
Momma Bug : )