There are families who do very little for Christmas, regarding gifts and the like (and I so admire them), purposing to focus on the Truth of the season instead.
While sometimes I wish we were like that, so far we aren’t. 🙂 I’d guess we’re pretty normal.
But I’m surprised sometimes at what constitutes ‘normal’ for others. There are families who anxiously find themselves short on cash this time of year (and especially this year), and worry how their kids will get to “have” Christmas. Maybe they scrape up some extra money, sell something, or ask friends and family to pitch in.
I’ve been surprised to discover what is “normal” for some families. Even the “struggling” ones. We’re not struggling really, though we’re always fairly careful with our spending.
We spent $20 each for the ‘big’ gift for the older 2, less than $10 (I think – Hubby actually picked hers out) on Organique, and $5 for a couple BPA-free teething rings for Baby. I sewed** each of the 3 mobile ones a skirt, a nightgown, and a “bakery hat” as Little Artist calls it. I made a chicken-scratch bookmark for Big Sister, and Daddy (the big spender) bought the Ladybug Game, Uno, and a puzzle as family gifts. Their stockings had a sampling of the goodies we’d made for giving, and an orange.
Of course, my folks sent gifts – slippers, nightgown, and bathrobe for each of the oldest, a hand-me-down game for Organique, and cute striped velour sleeper for Baby – which we opened on Christmas morning, and when Granny gave me an outfit for each of them over Thanksgiving, they were saved and wrapped for Christmas also. So even if everything wasn’t from “us,” there were still plenty of gifts to go around.
Christmas evening allowed for gifts from Hubby’s folks too, plus a ‘family gift’ of a movie, popcorn, and goodies in a basket from his sister and family.
What abundance. What abundance! We’re so blessed. Some have far, far less. And (maybe just as bad,) some “need” far, far more! I am struck by the massive amounts of gifts many kids have to show off (I don’t mean that in a bad way. Just that like all kids they are excited to show others their gifts.). Ours look pretty modest in comparison. But what makes me feel so rich is that.. that’s ok. My kids don’t need $100-worth of trinkets to feel like Christmas “happened.” Don’t get me wrong; I’m sure they’d LOVE $100 gifts (I do realize my children are young still and haven’t quite developed an appetite for the extravagant that may yet come.)! But they love homemade things. They don’t (usually) see commercials that tell them everything they’re missing out on. Our “Christmas” can be modest. Maybe even stark to some. But for us it’s perfect. And for that, I’m so grateful. We’re so rich.
How about you? Are you “normal?”
**Most of their sewn gifts were made from my ‘stash’ of fabric. I really never spend more than $2/yard for fabric.