I remember one Christmas back a few years ago. Like Christmas 2002, I had three little kids Sleeping Beauty being only 3, Smartie Pants 2 and Sunshine 4 months ( I think). We had my husband's brother and wife staying with us, and she was expecting their first in February 2003. We let them take over our bedroom to sleep on a real bed, and we slept in our daughter's bedroom on an air mattress. It was such FUN!!! We enjoyed visiting with them, and then, sometime before Christmas Day, Ben --(my brother in law) and Shantil (his wife) heard little feet running around -- like at 3- 4 am. I guess Shantil actually heard it first because she had just laid down to bed after doing a bathroom run. And didn't want to get up, so she had Ben go check it out. He came out just in time to see Sleeping Beauty eagerly and crazily opening packages, hers or not hers, it didn't matter. So he saw her, and stopped her right away before everything had been opened. He kindly re wrapped and fixed the presents that needed help. Didn't bother waking us for this event. But told us about it the next morning. Chris and I were mad at the time, but now we laugh about it all the time. So from that day forward we were always a little leery of leaving out our presents early. So now we don't put anything under the tree until the Christmas Eve. Because a trick my dad once told me that I now implement with own kids. ** Talk Christmas down, so that they think they won't get hardly anything at all.
So to go along with that, if my kids don't see any presents under the tree until they wake up Christmas day -- it looks like a LOT of stuff when in fact there are just a few gifts for each person under there. Last year we did Christmas for $300 and a few freebies of fabric along the way. That was it !!! We had to be resourceful, and Chris and I didn't get gifts unless it was some home -made school project that the kids brought home. It was really hard for me last year, since I really look forward to Christmas every year. But I think I was looking forward to it for the WRONG reason.
We didn't get a bonus from work this year. Well not really. They have decided to let the employees have an extra paid day off between now and the end of January. So that equates to $200.00 for the day which is better than some lame gift that they would have given us. So not only does he get paid for not being there but he gets to be with us. So we're going to try and schedule a day before school lets out for the holidays to do our Christmas shopping for our kids.
Because let's face it -- I never have the money through out the year. Paying bills, and getting rid of debt and junk like that. High gas prices, and cost of food got expensive. So I couldn't manage to save anything throughout this last year. But I have something set up this year that I'm hoping will work. We'll see.
So once again, we're faced with a Christmas that is going to be more about the "reason for the season" than that of "going in debt" just to have "THINGS" -- and no I'm not saying that those things aren't nice to have, but with moderation and not going into MORE DEBT, that might be doable. With better planning on my part for this next year, maybe we can do things a lot differently.