This week starts the season of griping, fatigue and overeating. I heard just this morning that the average Thanksgiving meal contains 4,000 calories – more than twice the amount of calories it is recommended to consume in one day.
If you keep your ears open (at least here in my neck of the woods), you will hear, maybe even from your own mouth, complaints of how much has to be done, the expense and the, "What if he/she gets me a gift and I don’t have one for him/her? I need to have ‘extra’ wrapped gifts just in case…"
Money is tight. Money is always tight but, for some reason, people think they have to go into more debt or others will think them cheap or will be disappointed. Children will be crying in the streets!
Not. I am here to tell you a little story. Here we go: Twenty-one years ago, a youngish woman joined a family through marriage; a wonderful, generous family. The marriage took place in early November and, soon after, the woman announced to her lovely mother-in-law that there would be no presents for the nieces and nephews, brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law. Now, this was unheard of in this family. There were many presents for each family member wrapped expertly with beautiful paper and ribbons one could only dream of! "Can you put $5 in an envelope for each of the children?" "No. That would add up to a large sum and we we have a limited budget. "Can we do it for you?" "No. And there is no need for the aunts and uncles to get gifts for my daughter. She will have enough from you and us and her father’s family. We will buy for our child and our parents."
Well, as you can imagine, that did not go over too well. The aunts and uncles brought gifts for the daughter and the newlyweds brought only for the grandparents. It was uncomfortable that first year – but only for the couple! There were no crying children and no hard feelings from the siblings. Year after year and to this day the aunts and uncles still buy for the nieces and nephews and the once newlywed couple still buy only for his parents and their children and grandchild (her parents insist that they get them nothing – insist!).
Also, some of the nieces and nephews now buy for the aunts and uncles! They range in age from 24 – 32…..uh,……
The moral of this story is that you have the power, to an extent, over your stress level. There were years that I made all the adult gifts. I’m no Marth*a Stew*art but I can read instructions on how to make simple but lovely gifts. I have asked that donations be made to my favorite non-profit and have wanted to do the same for the parents (mine chose hospice and his, well, they like to open gifts. That’s just fine.). Himself and I are talking about buying a goat through World Vision as a family present.
Don’t become a Scroo*ge like I have in past years! Just put enough on your plate to satisfy your hunger and enough on your gift list to be financially comfortable. Just a suggestion.
Still…..I would like to hibernate for the next month……
Have a great week, g