I like to think of myself as the thrifty minded shopper when it comes to the holidays. I have these ideals in my head of shopping early, trying to catch great deals, and setting a budget. Having the notion I wouldn't have to deal with all the stress at the last minute. This never happens. I'd like to say it's going to happen this year but all my Christmas shopping is depended on when Mr. Scrooge gives the green light. We're still at a red light as of today. Overwhelmed? Not me, it's tradition. I've learned to just go with the flow.
Here's how the typical scenario breaks out. Every year starting at Thanksgiving I ask the hubs "What's the plan this year for Christmas?" Every year he looks at me as if I just shaved my head and tatooed it. "What do you mean what's the plan?" he'll ask, "Christmas Bah Humbug!" Every year I'll roll my eyes and sigh.
He doesn't like to shop. I take that back, he likes to shop (a lot), he just knows when he goes he'll go crazy and spend much o money. Therefore he bans all Christmas shopping of any kind for both of us until further notice, turns off the heat for us, and sits and counts the money he's saving. Maybe not the last two but sometimes it feels that way. This drives me crazy. Needless to say I've been known to secret shop randomly here and there.
Then just like in A Christmas Carol something comes over him. He's ready and the spirit of Christmas hits him like a brick and he starts handing out his money to anyone that will take it and singing from the rooftops. Though it could be just the pressure that Santa hasn't done his shopping yet and it's two days before Christmas. I like to pretend it's the first idea.
Once the Christmas spirit has started, there's no stopping him. He is strolling up and down the aisles throwing anything and everything he can find in the cart. This has caused many a knock down drag out fight between us, right in the middle of the action figures aisle. He's throwing stuff in that he'd like to play with and not anything even remotely close to what the kids have on their list. Don't get me started on the aircraft carrier he wanted for the boys in '05. Last I checked my kids had no clue what a aircraft carrier was. He still wants that stupid carrier..for the boys of course.
This year, I'm pretty sure we'll be living like the Cratchits and just feel blessed to be working, have food on the table, and maybe a few smaller presents under the tree. At least I think so in my little Christmas Carol mind. Hubs may have other plans but I think he realizes that with a new job, things could change on a dime. We also aren't expecting any kind of bonus from the real Mr. Scrooge like years before.
This is a new situation for us that we're not used to. I think a lot of Americans are kind of in the same boat for one reason or the other. We'll take it in stride. Spend only what we know we can spend. We've always paid for Christmas with only money we had on hand and not a lot on credit. We've never still been paying off Christmas in July. That I think has always been our best plan. This year we may not get to go near as hog wild but I think that is actually a good thing.
..And God Bless Us Everyone!
The Parent Bloggers Network are up the their old tricks again and couldn't resist sneaking in one last blast of the year. Their partnered with FFDA a not for profit company geared to help parents deal with overwhelming times, not just through the holidays but all year long.