This is the time of the year when everyone has big sales, tells you what you should buy, cook, eat, and how to celebrate the multiple holidays. I was actually called a “Scrooge” because I don’t buy into all the hype.
I had someone ask me if I had finished all of my Christmas shopping about a week ago. I said I don’t do any Christmas shopping. My husband and I decided long ago that we wouldn’t buy each other gifts for holidays. Instead we would plan a mini trip/vacation. Our kids are grown and through out the year they receive things they need from us. Why wait for just one or two special days a year to get gifts? We have one grandchild, but we aren’t allowed to see them. I sent them a card and a gift. They probably will not get it, but I tried. My parents have passed away and my husbands parents are in an assisted living center in another state. So in my situation, there is very little reason to go shopping.
We have a small house, so we just have a tabletop tree in our living room. (my husband bought it fully decorated at the Festival of Trees. The money goes to help one of the local hospitals) We live way out in the country, surrounded by trees, so we don’t put out outside decorations.
As for a big dinner, we only have 3 people to sit at the table, so why make a huge dinner? I cooked a turkey (the smallest I could find) because my hubby likes turkey sandwiches. No pies or sweets. (we don’t need them) No dressing. (I’m the only one that will eat it) No candied sweet potatoes. (Hubby is the only one that likes that)
We do have a tradition of having a stocking on Christmas morning. It must have 5 things and anything else that will fit in it. They are:
1) An apple
2) An orange
5) A small toy (this year was a hot wheels car)
All through the year I collect little things for the Christmas stocking – Chap stick, special candy bar, small tools, hand lotion, etc.
I think it might be different if there were more kids around, but then with all of the high dollar, high tech things kids want these days, I’d have to work two jobs to afford any of it. I have a friend who waited in WalMart for 7 hours just to get a Hatchimal for her daughter. It was great for a few minutes when she opened it, but soon lost interest in it.
In the past four weeks, I have crocheted 13 scarves and 11 hats. Eight of the scarves went to veterans and 10 of the hats went to the hospital for newborn babies. The other scarves and hat were for my co-workers. I also baked loaves of bread for my neighbors. (including some gluten free ones)
One of my projects for today is trying to figure out a way to make a turkey pot pie for a friend who is lactose intolerant. Her husband had an accident and needed emergency surgery 2 days before Christmas. I will be bringing them dinner on Wednesday.
I donated several handmade items and baked goods for an auction to a group that makes quilts for charities. They have just the one function each year to keep them supplied with fabric and batting to make these quilts.
I think going back to a more simple life is very satisfying. I think most of us have way too much junk and stuff we think we must have. I read somewhere that Amazon is teaming up with The Salvation Army and you can put items to donate in used Amazon boxes and Amazon will provide a free shipping label to send the items to a nearby participating Salvation Army Thrift Store. I need to check into this some more, but that sounds like a wonderful idea.
I am very happy with what I do for the holidays. You don’t have to spend a ton of money and have a stressful season. It’s much better to give from the heart than give material things that are really meaningless. Time for me to get off my soapbox and venture outside in the 9 degree weather to check on the chickens. Have a great day!