I work very hard and am attending college to obtain my degree in the Human Service field. Writing makes me feel alive and gives me the opportunity to touch those whom I would not be able to otherwise. Last but not least, I have been blessed with two amazing daughters who love me completely and support my dreams. Feel free to contact me with questions, concerns or feedback.
What would your children do if there were no gifts under the tree this year? Who would feel worse, you or them? Would anyone cry, rebel or retreat to their rooms to sleep off the depression and shock? Would there be a protest of sorts, children holding signs, marching in a circle, “Santa does not live here”? How guilty would you feel if you could not afford a single present this year?
With the holidays fast approaching, Black Friday right around the corner, what’s a parent to do? The same thing as the year prior or grow some and set a limit regarding gifts?
I cannot recall every item purchased last year or the year before. I am sure my daughters couldn’t list every single gift either. I have put a limit of close to $100 on each, giving them the opportunity to plan head and plan well. This sure doesn’t sound like enough, yet I do go over my limit at times. If we find some really good deals, I stretch it to ensure their happiness Christmas morning.
Why have we equated gifts to happiness and joy? What makes a parent feel so horrible if their children don’t get “enough” compared to their friends?
Single parents have it much worse. When dad is able to afford more than mom, and vice versa, one parent is left feeling inadequate. No matter that the economy took a dive, children have yet to understand the need to cut back. All they know is that birthdays and Christmas are the times that gifts will come a-plenty.
With December 25th approaching so very fast, it is time to take the bull by the horns. Thanksgiving is a great time to make your announcement. Inform your children you are so “grateful” to have them that you want to spend special time with them. In lieu of gifts, the money is going towards making memories. If you normally spend $1000 on Christmas, decide that the family will plan a get-away. How wonderful will it be to invest in time spent compared to toys which will eventually be forgotten or stored in a heap on the floor?
There are many areas of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan and Illinois which are fantastic for a weekend getaway. If you have vacation at work, a trip during the week will generate the most savings. You and your children can take turns on the internet to discover which area is not only the most economical but which may have holiday specials. For your special time together, invest in a decent camera to capture your . Purchase a special diary from the dollar store so each child can record the events of the trip. Take pictures of unusual and humorous events and stop often along the drive so you can take in sights normally unseen.
A day trip is another excellent option. For info on day trips, look up “Best Day Trips in Wisconsin” or go to www.midwestweekends.com . This will save on hotel costs which, including tax, may cost more than your car payment. Take off early and come back in the evening. Do this a couple of days in the row to ensure you are making the most of your gift. Send your photos to Walgreens.com or stop by the store with your SIM card to develop by the same or next day. The franchise usually has excellent deals if you print numerous photos.
Imagine filling your album with photos of sights in lieu of wrapping paper. How many pictures include your son or daughter kneeling on the floor, holding yet another toy? Why not change the course of history and make the holidays what they were meant to be?
Love, joy, peace, patience, laughter, kindness and good cheer compared to harried time, angry shoppers, trampling deaths and fighting strangers for one or two more toys. Sleep in, enjoy your and take care.
Let’s get back to the real meaning of Christmas and forgo following the crowd.