If you read my previous posts you will have noticed that I sounded very strong. I used words like “budget” “make a list” “stay strong” …but this Consumer Reporter needs to practice what she preaches during the Christmas shopping season!
This Saturday I went Christmas shopping, with my list and a set amount of money in my head to spend. I bargained hunted, I scoured coupons, I compared prices from Walmart to Toys R Us to Target and in the end I THOUGHT I did pretty well, I didn’t veer from my list.
But here is where the problem started. When I got home with my loot and started putting it in piles (3) one for each child, I felt that ‘ugh’ feeling….I DIDN’T BUY ENOUGH! I thought to myself, ‘my children will be so disappointed Christmas morning when they don’t see presents oozing out all over the living room floor!
SAVE ME FROM MYSELF. I think, as parents, we all get to this point. When is enough, enough? Is it when our money runs out? Is it when we get everything on our children’s list? Is it when it looks more like the toy aisle in Toys R Us in our living rooms instead of….well, our living rooms?
I started to panic. I felt that I needed to buy just to buy, quantity over quality. To save me from myself, I poured a glass of wine, built a fire and sat in the (still empty living room with the tree all aglow) and played cards with my children. Talked with them about school, about friends, about the New Year. That’s when I suddenly realized, enough WAS enough.
Time alone with my children, without distractions was better than any gift I could buy them. Even though they may feel a little “cheated” come Christmas morning because I chose to stop the insanity of trying to please them with quantity, I believe in the end, we will all be better off.
Afterall, when the bills come in January, instead of trying to figure out how to pay for my brief moment of guilt, I can sit back, open up my checkbook and pay off Christmas debt.