Another Christmas has come and gone. Each year I promise myself, if not my whole family, that this year will be different. This year will be the year I just sit back and enjoy the whole season like I did when I was responsibility free urchin. This year I won’t get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life in the United States during Christmas.
It never seems to really happen though. It is almost as if I was destined to not follow through. Every year on December 26 I realize anew that this is really the day to get all of next year’s Christmas gifts. Not only is everything ridiculously inexpensive (inexpensive because it sounds so much better than “cheap”), you can be completely done with Christmas 364 days early. Now that’s a great idea.
Of course I would completely forget I had already bought all the Christmas gifts and I’d misplace them as I put them someplace that made sense on the day after Christmas. Shoot this year I bought a gift in early December for a family member and I had completely forgotten I had already bought it so I bought and made another gift. To be honest and not-quite-so-humble the one I made was a much better gift.
I wonder how and who started the tradition of asking what everyone got for Christmas. And why do we feel the inane need to answer? I don’t know. So I won’t bore with the whole “I got a leer jet, a vacation house in the south of France, what did you get” as if you could in any way, shape or form compete with my plethora of gifts. But I will say for the first time in a very very long time I received money for Christmas.
Money, now that is something I’d asked for in years past. I thought it would be the ideal, perfect gift. What could be better than money to buy what I really want? Not much in my mind. But I found out, I was horribly wrong. Don’t misunderstand me, I have no intention whatsoever of returning this money. But it isn’t easy to spend it.
What if I buy something that I think I want now, only to later find something I really, really want and the money is gone? That would be truly tragic. At least in my mind. I have thought of a hundred fifty different things to spend it on and have rejected every single one of them for one reason or another. I was telling my family about my dilemma last night and they all were very helpful with ideas of how to spend it. But I could shoot down every suggestion. At one point my 11year old told me I should buy something I want, not something I need. I agreed wholeheartedly. She went on to say that Dave Ramsey had “ruined” me. In a sense, she’s right. I never had much trouble B.D. (before Dave) spending money.
(And I must, please, beg your forgiveness because she would be quick to point out, she is 11 and a half not just 11)
My 9 year old told me I should buy “a lot more Christmas ornaments for the tree.” I had to tell her that as wonderful a suggestion as that was, it just wasn’t going to happen because I am determined to be incredibly selfish with this money and spend it all on something that is just MINE.
I’m selfish that way. As the Momma and wife of this house, generally my gifts have been along the lines of items for the whole family. While the next Momma/wife/woman of the house might not mind that at all, this one does. You see, I’ve read Gary Chapman‘s book, The Five Love Languages and I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that I am bi-lingual when it comes to love. Everyone has one “main” love language that they both need and speak, they will need/like/want the others but only one main language tells them they are deeply loved when it is spoken to them.
Me? I have two. I crave love and time. I need both to feel truly and deeply loved. If you shove a gift at me, but don’t spend time, I won’t necessarily feel loved. And the reverse is also true, if you spend time with me but don’t give a gift, I won’t feel loved. I know, I’m demanding and high maintenance.
I have digressed. When this Momma/wife/woman of the house, gets a gift that everyone in the house can use/benefit from and isn’t mine alone, I don’t feel loved.
There I’ve said it. Now everyone that has ever given me a gift I’ve had to share now feels incredibly guilty,but only if they read this. I’m not denying that I’ve loved the dishes I’ve received (and asked for), the sheets, the heaters. I have loved them and I use them every day. I’m not exactly sure how much I’ll use the space heater that looks like a fireplace in the summer, but you know the others I use every day. Especially the dishes.
But so does every member of my family.
I have thought about getting some dry wall, studs and styrofoam and working on finishing my ugly, ugly back porch into a truly usable area. But I have no real idea where to begin and while I’m thrifty with money, I’m not sure I could accomplish it. I pondered, briefly, ever so very briefly pondered talking to a contractor/construction guy I know how much he could do with the amount I have. I quickly pushed that idea aside as I realized his answer would be, “Uhhh, well, Mrs. FullCup, I could put in an outlet for you.”
Sigh. I’m not thinking that would really help all that much.
My nine-year-old also thought it would be a wonderful idea to spend it all on Barbies. Or Nana’s No’s Cookies. Somehow I’m thinking that won’t happen.
Now that it is two days past Christmas, I find myself thinking it is high time to get the Christmas stuff cleared out of my house. I know people who would be truly (and are) shocked that I could think that. I also know there are people who would call me a slow-poke.
Maybe after another cup of coffee…