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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

This time of year is all about one thing, right? Money. And in the joyous Christmas season of 2008, there is no money, to speak of. Thereís not much to spend, either.

So maybe this is the year to make Christmas a little less about the money we spend and the stuff we generously bestow on others or lavishly accumulate for ourselves. If Iím buying store brand raisin bran, it follows that I should cut back on less essential spending as well. Iíve been floating that idea around, and the response has been gratifying — not just because it was my (admittedly unoriginal) idea, but also because it will save me some money. A lot of money, considering how far overboard I tend to go.

People already know what to expect from me at Christmas. Iíll once again be giving out calendars to the adults on my list. And Iíve carefully chosen toys for each of the four children in the family. Nothing too expensive, nothing that breaks easily, nothing for any one that the other three are likely to covet (or destroy). Just something to unwrap and, most likely, forget about.

But Iíll be able to say I tried, and I didnít even ask for any advice. Thatís kind of dangerous, since I see the kids so rarely, but I doubt Iíd do much better if I saw them every day. Itís a bit of a crapshoot at best. Theyíre all under ten and not likely to want the same thing next month they want now anyway.

30 November 2008

Misty morning, looking west.

The other side of the coin is that I donít want people spending more money on me than Iím worth. Plus, I donít have room for any more stuff in my house. Plus, the big screen TV I really truly want costs more than I can afford, so I know itís not in the price range of anyone I know, even if I did want people spending money on me. Plus, Iíd like to focus on what really matters this Christmas, if I can only figure out what that is.

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