on giving

christmas 2004

How do you decide on what and how much to "give" at Christmas time?  When i see this picture of our 2nd Christmas together i just laugh. I had just graduated from college, Ty was working full time, Lucy was a newborn and I had post-partum depression and no idea. I survived my PPD by shopping. I shopped and shopped and shopped. We bought so much stinking crap for each other it's sick to think about. And you know what? It didn't make me feel any bit better, no amount of presents or the 'right' presents can ever change anything, isn't that bummer? 

Growing up we always had sparse Christmas'. It didn't really bother me, as I knew the next morning we would be packing up and driving down to Phoenix to visit with all the family. Those trips made the best christmas vacations ever. Aunt Lynne and Uncle Dan always hosted us and I can't imagine how much work that must have been! But you know what? those are magical memories, and I still am closest with the Curtis cousins over all of my other cousins.  

I do all of the shopping every year for Christmas. Who gets what? How many presents from us? how many from Santa? what to give friends, teachers, relatives? Some years things have been tight and our presents have been lame. But you know what? It wasn't because of the money, it's because we ran out of time and I didn't plan well enough.

I think it doesn't matter how much you spend at all, but the thought put into it. we give gifts because we love each other, we give to show that love, and I always have to remember I'm not giving to "buy" anyone's love. For the last 2 years we have done 3 presents from us, and 2 presents from Santa. that may sound like a lot to you, or very little, but it has been great for us.

Luckily we have girls, who love getting clothes. So of course we give them some needed clothing for one of their presents, and this year I want the other one to be books. I've never given them books as presents, as we just go to the library every week. but I read 50 best picture books on designmom and am trying to build up our collection of the classics, so that someday my grandchildren can stop by and read them with their chubby little hands. 

Some years I have spent a lot on family and friends, and then suffered in January when the bill came. But this year is our first Christmas without a credit card, so things have already begun to get "interesting". Hence the black friday disaster of shopping trying to "save" money, what a joke. But, I am having fun making things and planning, but we'll see how i feel in a few weeks. Any advice? Any problems with giving too? 

ps- It's getting harder the older lucy gets, because she's noticing how "Much" other people get and what we get, etc. etc. etc. How do you handle that?

pps- ty is the worst person to shop for! I always like to surprise him, but he doesn't consider a lot of the things I give as good gifts. Like, Church pants! Or an ipod!  

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