Sunday, November 28, 2010

Is It Really Worth It?

I'm trying not to be a Bah Humbug but I'm having a hard time understanding the need to camp out at Walmart for 7 hours or more to get in on Black Friday sales. I don't understand the spending of money or maxing out credit cards for one day out of the year.

Trust me, I understand the joy of giving but does it need to be gifts that will break your budget, your credit card or your spirit? I don't know too many people who shop for Christmas without walking away with a little bit of buyers remorse or a sick feeling from over spending.

Years ago, when my ex and I struggled after he was laid off from a job of almost 11 years, we knew that we had to make the most of the holidays without going broke. We decided to spend time making traditions. Every day, there was a new adventure to look forward to until Christmas arrived. We made ornaments, surprised unsuspecting neighbors by doing them favors like putting away their trash cans and raking their leaves, having the girls choose toys that they no longer played with to give away to others and made gifts like homemade potholders and cards. Out came the puzzles, the Christmas carols played throughout the house and we laughed. A few weeks before Christmas, I threw a Christmas craft sleepover for my daughters and their friends. They played games, made ornaments and the grand finale was making gingerbread houses. The joy on their faces were priceless. Christmas eve, we went looking at our favorite houses that were well lit and gave them the "best lit house" award. Christmas shopping meant shopping at thrift stores and looking for gifts that we knew would put a smile on their faces.

Those were good times! Simple yet, something that we all looked forward to every year. I challenge my blog readers to embrace a tradition or make a new one that maybe won't cost much but will bring loads of joy to someone this holiday. Are you up for the challenge?

15 comments:

Reyna said...

So true!

I have also had buyers remorse.
It was not a good way to share my love.

But for the most part living at or below poverty level we have been able to make the Holidays special AND affordable.

It feels SO much better to start the new year that way.

One of my grown sons gives me gift certificates for yard work. They are major stress relievers for me.

We also are used to buying second-hand. By doing that, we are able to buy gifts we could not otherwise afford. An example being, a near new pair of snow shoes approx. value 100.00 for only 10.00!

One year when I was married we all were asked to only give homemade gifts, something way out of the in-laws comfort zone. But what happened was an amazing bonding experience that still is a heartwarming memory for all, even though I have been divorced over 13 years.

I suppose because my children have grown up this way, it is just accepted and anything more is a very pleasant surprise.

Thank you for giving us all permission to just enjoy each other and the Holidays!

Mari said...

I think that's the real spirit of Christmas! Great challenge and one I am going to work on. :)

♥Georgie♥ said...

wonderful post! one I am trying to take to heart...i remember as a child being happy with a baby doll and new pair of pants...now I can't afford my kids...

blueviolet said...

That's why the day after Christmas when I can save boatloads of money on things I will actually use the next year makes more sense to me!

Brian Miller said...

smiles. what cool memories...its some of the simple things that bring us together that make it the most special....

Six Feet Under Blog said...

I didnt over spend this Black Friday. I got a couple of deals that didnt break my budget and spent the day watching others fall over each other, trying to get the last good deal.

Nezzy said...

This is soooo true sweetie, ya just can't buy Christmas. That's why we call it the Christmas Spirit!

God bless you sweetie and enjoy this season! :o)

dana said...

And THAT is why your children grew up to be the wonderful adults that YOU showed them how to be.

Jill said...

Very well written! It's the simple, joyful moments that mean so much and ones kids will treasure for many years and share with their children as well. The wonder and excitement of believing in Santa, the awe and joy of the true meaning of Christmas!
Hope you have a great week!
Blessings,
Jill

Joanna Jenkins said...

I'm with you Simone! There is not enough money (or sales) to get me to spend the night in the cold waiting to shop for the holidays the day after Thanksgiving. I don't even think it would appeal to me if I was younger.

The older I get the more I appreciate our family traditions and miss being so far away from them especially this time of year. But I do my best to keep up with them long distance. Sometimes I think Godson is in tradition overload but enjoys the cookie baking, ginger bread houses and gift making for his mom and teachers.

I gladly accept your challenge!!

Cheers, jj

Helene said...

It's always the simple things that make the best memories!!!

I forgot to e-mail you back when you asked if the kids help prepare the meal for Thanksgiving! Bella actually loves to help...she helped me get the turkey ready to go in the oven and helped make the stuffing!

Veronica Lee said...

How true! It's sad that kids these days (especially the kids over here) generally only associate Christmas with gifts. The true meaning of Christmas is lost.

Love your post,Simone

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Erin said...

Spot on. I posted something similar the other day and have been consumed with thoughts about all of this lately. I did not shop on Black Friday especially and I loathe seeing people in line at 3 a.m. or hearing about people dying because they were trampled to death trying to grab a Wii off the shelf, etc....ugh.

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