Monday, November 22, 2010

Sacrificing to the Gods of the Holiday Season

*I swear the title of this post is not sacrilegious; it's meant as humorous and, in a funny way, accurately depicts my feelings right now. Read on to see what I mean.....

We are coming into that time of year- holiday wonder and excitement, hot chocolate, presents under an evergreen tree, Santa and his elves, warm snuggly nights by the fire....

...and worry over whether they'll be enough under the Christmas tree, whether you are heading to your family or they are coming to you this year, big meals to plan and execute with precision, finding that perfect gift for the one you love, and so much more. I'm so not trying to sound like a pessimist; those that know me, know that I have always been able to see the silver lining, always look on the bright side. It's just a fact that the holiday season is stressful, and my family and I are not immune to that. This year, moreso than any other really, money is tight, so I worry about the presents for the kids. That's my biggest focus this year- making sure my kids don't feel the pinch that we've gotten ourselves into.

Ghoulia Yelps
So far this season, we've spent $182.00 on the kids for Christmas. For that $182.00, I've gotten my son some Lego figurines he wanted (the ones with the spiky hair from Exoforce, for those that speak Lego), my daughter 10 Goosebumps books, and, as their 'big' present, a Nintendo Wii with four games- Mario Galaxy, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Sonic Riders Zero Gravity, and Animal Crossing. My secret so far this year is ebay. I started shopping early, watched auction after auction until I pounced on the ones I could tell were good deals, and I NEVER went above my pre-determined budget amount for whatever I was buying. So yes, the Wii and extras are all used, but, come Christmas morning when they head into the living room and see that Santa already set up the Wii for them, they honestly will never know it was used. And the other presents are used, too, but, I ended up spending $10 for the 3 Lego Exoforce figurines (the only thing my son is really worried about), instead of $40 for the entire Exoforce kit that comes with maybe 2 guys. That's why I love ebay. Now, if only I can win an auction for that Monster High doll, Ghoulia Yelps, I want to get for my daughter. It's the 'it' toy this year, sold out at Target (the main retailer), and go for $40+ mostly everywhere right now. My max budget for this item is $25, and gosh darnit, if I have to check ebay each and every day and sacrifice a chicken to the Monster High gods, I'll do it to get this doll for her for $25. (Okay, maybe not the chicken part, but you get my drift.....)

So, with the kids partially taken care of, and me constantly on the hunt for deals for them, that just leaves hubby and Z. I have ideas for both of them (hubby's, I've already tried a 'Best Offer' bid on ebay and was shot down immediately; now I have to wait for the 7 or so auctions I'm watching to play out, some of them not ending for 6 days- I'm impatient as hell- and I'll still probably get what I want for the 'Best Offer' bid I put in today), and Z is pretty simple (plus she's getting a homemade gift that's been designing itself in my head for days now).

Is it wrong to admit that I'm a little worried about myself this season? Yes, it's all about giving and not receiving, and as long as my kids are taken care of, I'll be the happiest mom ever, but hey, we're all human, right? There is an awesome feeling seeing that box with your name under the tree, and the excitement that comes with not knowing what's inside. I've always over-thought Christmas- tried to find that gift for someone that will just surprise the hell outta them; I do strive for the shock factor every year. And with money being tight, I don't exactly know how this season will play out for the adults in the family. I have control over getting hubby and Z something, but is the same amount of thought or effort going into finding me something at a hella discount, or am I going to be forgotten about? I've tried giving hubby some ideas for cheap presents for me, but he says he wants to figure it out himself. I applaud him for wanting to be original, but that doesn't mean the worry doesn't sit with me just a little. I'm an easy person to please; get me a hella good box of red hair dye and a few used books and I'm golden. Maybe a cheap pair of toe socks I can wear around the house. I guess I'll just have to sit back and be patient (not a strong suit of mine)...

... and continue to sacrifice to the gods of the holiday season. Sacrifice four hours of time spent on ebay for getting those Goosebumps books for $9. Offer after offer shot down just to finally wait out that 6 day auction to get it for the price I want. Needle pricks sustained to hand make that gift for the grandmommas. And having some cheap, good ol' fashioned hamburger helper for dinner once in a while so the money can be used for making Christmas just a little bit better this year (nothing wrong with hamburger helper, hubby just isn't a big fan). These are the sacrifices we moms go through for our families, and we have a smile on our face every step of the way....

1 comment:

  1. I can definitely see where you're coming from.

    And, no matter the religious beliefs, I think it's, kind of, good to not have a ton to spend on gifts. It's never too early to learn that it is a season of *giving*, and that you won't be spoiled! ((Don't we all hate being around that kid who's been spoiled?! :-D)) I'm sure your kids will be grateful for whatever they get :-)

    and, it IS ok to consider yourself. Mamas have a hard job, and it's nice to think you'll get a pretty little present from time to time, especially when everyone else is getting some!

    don't let the holidays get to you! Just think, when you have to park 2 miles away from the can have an extra piece of pie because of all the calories burned :-)