A good friend of mine just wrote me a thoughtful note expressing Christmas cheer.
She also mentioned that she would not be giving material gifts this Christmas in order to focus on her children and grandchildren.
I appreciated her candor. At this stage in my life, when my home is stuffed with things collected over Christmases and birthdays past, “paring down” seems more appropriate than “stocking up.”
A mental image keeps creeping into my head of a time when I’m gone and my boys are stuck trying to figure out what to do with the hundreds of Santas I collected back in the 70s and 80s. They sit gathering dust in my prop closet- full of things I inherited from my mother and grandmother.
I didn’t know what to do with them either, so they live rent free in my house.
As I review my Christmas list and try to think of something my friends and family would like, I’m drawing a blank. Times are hard and not everyone is in the mood to give the way they did when we used credit like it was the proverbial money tree.
I plan to begin the new year debt free and refuse to give in to the marketing hype.
Fortunately, there are many inexpensive ways to participate in gift giving for our loved ones. A gift from our kitchens is always welcome and will go a long way to help a harried homemaker who has house guests coming.
A framed photo of good times spent together is always a welcome gift. My girlfriends and I – 11 in all, usually swap gifts. If my math is correct that’s 111 gifts and cards. This year we’re doing a cookie swap. We’ll sample the goods, then everyone gets to take home a dozen cookies to freeze or serve.
Each year, my insurance agent – who once sent boxes of candy – sent me a note that this year he is making a donation to Palmer Home for Children in my name. What a nice touch.