September 13, 2011

Christmas For Cheapskates

Can we talk about Christmas for a minute? Here, smack dab in the middle of September?

Sure we can.

One of my recurring anxiety dreams is that it's Christmas morning and we've somehow forgotten to buy or make presents for our family. It happens once or twice a month.

I'm pretty sure that retailers already have their Christmas stock and planograms in the back rooms already, and have agreed this year to put them out on October 1st, so it's not very likely to come true, but still, I dream.

And the thing is, the title of this post should read "Christmas For Cheapskates Who Love Christmas", because I do. I really, really, really do.


And we can get into all the reasons not to like the version of Christmas that includes overspending, and overeating, and overexposure to relatives we may or may not want to be exposed to at all, as well as the big commercialism thing that everyone wrings their hands over, and the arguments over pagan antecedents and who really owns it all, but I can't control any of that.

So - to repeat - I really, really, really like Christmas. The big reasons for me, aside from the fact that it marks Jesus' entry into the world and sets the stage for the remarkable truth of Easter - involve food (naturally), family (especially now that my kids - some of them anyway - are old enough not to eat tinsel), and gifts.

You heard me, gifts.

Don't tell me you don't like getting presents. I like it. I don't get many anymore, which is as it should be when you grow up. But I like the ones I get.

I also like the ones I make - and I have some good ideas this year, but probably not enough time to pull them off.

But the ones I really like are the ones I've saved up for.

That's right, the whole point of this post is to tell you something you probably already know: we have an account strictly for Christmas, and we put money into it every week.

The fact that we're shopping with a budget and with money that won't show up on a bill in January is almost as exciting as the food for me.