Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Well, here they are again. The Holidaze. Why are we always worrying about the Holidaze? I'll tell you why we worry about Holidaze.
EXPECTATIONS!! Expectations from ourselves, our kids, the rest of the bloomin family, friends, merchants, TV...........even the streets are decorated so we don't forget that their are expectations upon us!
We think we need to give gifts to everybody! We don't. We can't afford it, and neither can they!
We think we need to give our grown up kids what they ask for. We don't. They are GROWN UPS, for Pete's sake, and can jolly well buy the stuff they want for themselves.
We think we need to send Christmas cards to every member of the family, old neighbors, and others we haven't seen in years and years. We don't. Stamps and cards are expensive items. If you haven't seen these people in a zillion years, there must be a reason. Remember the reason!
We think we need to shop in every single store in the mall because the economy is down, and we don't want to be responsible for them going out of business. We don't. Yes, we would all love to save the economy, but the government is against that, and you "can't fight City Hall", especially when their idea is to simply borrow more money, and print all those new dollars at nano-speed.
Make a list of what you are going to shop for, where you are going to shop for it, and take your timer with you. Set it for 15 minutes each time you enter a store. You have drop whatever you are holding that you "might" buy that is on the list and head immediately to check-out when the timer goes off, and if you are not, You are over doing things. The secret?? THE LIST!! GET OUT OF THE STORE!!
We think we need to buy all that crap on TV in order for our children to be well adjusted. We don't. Remember, these people are highly paid to make you feel guilty or ugly or stupid if you don't invest in their products. You don't know these people, and you don't have to believe them! You can even turn them off!
We think we need to be politically correct. Let me assure you, WE DON'T!
Put up your lights if you want to, get the creche set up in the yard, and blare the Christmas music.
Say "Merry Christmas" to everyone you see, and don't forget the store clerks.
We think we need to make our "famous recipe for fudge" for everyone. We don't. They won't miss it. Chances are, YOU are the only one who will notice!
If you need to make the fudge, send it off to Iraq or Afghanistan to a soldier. You can bet he or she WILL notice! And if you don't have an address, call some churches and have them give it to a needy family.
Believe me, it will taste and feel better to you than that fudge ever could!
We think we need to buy presents for our grandchildren. We don't. Instead, we can take them to a store, let them pick out a toy, and then go straight to the Toys for Tots barrel run by the Marines, and let your grandchildren donate the toy(s) to a needy child who will have no Christmas otherwise. This is also a good thing to do for the kids still living with you. Take a photo of the toy being donated, and then, on Christmas day, give the framed photo to the donating child as their Christmas gift. It will mean more and more to them as the years pass, and they will look forward to giving toys to less priveledged children.
One year, before DH, it was just my daughter and I. We were very poor. There was no money for gifts. I took a piece of cloth and embroidered a clock face, then asked a friend to make me a frame for the clock. Another friend donated the clock workings, including the hands. While I was embroidering it, I pricked my finger, and a couple drops of blood spilled onto the clock face. I couldn't get it off.
The morning of Christmas, I was very worried and ashamed that that was all I could give my daughter for Christmas.
My DD opened her clock, and burst into tears. She came over and gave me the biggest hug ever. She instantly KNEW I had embrfooidered that clock face, and she also instantly saw the blood stains.
While sitting on my lap, hugging and crying, she said "Mom, this is the BEST gift I have ever gotten! You BLED to give me this."
She still has that clock, and it is still running. Neither one of us has forgotten that Christmas, and it is the best one I have ever had.
My husband and I have everything we need and then some. There is nothing left to WANT.
Each year, we individually choose a charity and then donate to it in the name of our spouse. Then we get a pretty Christmas card, and inside, it reads "This year you donated to ............charity, and they love you for it, and so do I". We keep the name of the charity secret from each other, and we only find out when we open the envelope.
These are just a few suggestions...........I am sure you all out there have many more.
Don't let the DAZE happen to you. Drop the expectations. Take your voice, whether you can sing or not, and head to a retirement home. Sing with the seniors! Play a game with them!
Leave a plate of cookies for someone who can't afford them on their door step.
If you live in snow country, go to a poor neighbor, and ask them to make a snow man with you. Leave them some cocoa to make hot chocolate.
If you see a stray animal that obviously is hungry, feed and shelter it.
Walk in the snow sticking out your tongue and see how many flakes you can catch with your mouth. It doesn't cost anything to be a kid again! You can even make snow angels. AND count points for the exercise!!
Find simple, old fashioned ways to celebrate the season, and spread your LOVE around. It is something that you cannot buy, but means the very most!
Expect to do Christmas YOUR way, and get to planning the fun.