Miser Christmas

Christmas is a tricky time of year for the miser. I’m not a religious person and I also hate consumerism. People often ask me in a conflicting voice, “do you even celebrate Christmas?” Here is my public answer, “yes, I celebrate Christmas.” I love being mischievous with our elves. I love reminding my children what Christmas is all about. I also love the time off with family and friends.

Christmas is About

  • I feel like Christmas is a time to be generous to those in need. For instance, we bought a bunch of fast food gift cards to give to those standing at intersections asking for money. If you want your child to see you as generous, you have to actually be generous in front of them.
  • It’s about anonymously giving to others without expecting a thank you.
  • It’s about time off and spending that time with friends and family.
  • It’s about creating things with children that are messy and crooked. Showing them that even though it’s a crappy ornament and you still love it, shows them that they can receive crappy things and still be thankful. If you alter it to make it look better, you taught them that they’re not good enough.
  • It’s about eating homemade soup for dinner with simple ingredients, so you can spend time with each other instead of slaving away in the kitchen.
  • It’s about driving around and looking at Christmas lights while listening to Christmas music.
  • It’s about decorating the tree and leaving the ornaments where they were placed. It took me a couple years but as long as the tree doesn’t fall over the kids can place them where ever they feel it looks beautiful. This typically means the majority of them are bunched together with sparse open spots all over the tree.

Christmas is not About

  • Generosity to those more fortunate or as fortunate to you is not generosity. It’s an act of showing off.
  • It’s not about passing around gift cards to people who can clearly afford to buy their own meal. The worst is when someone gives you a $25 gift card and you only bought them a $20 gift card. Wow, your “generosity” just made you feel cheap.
  • Christmas is not about spending days making perfect cookies so you can show off your baking skills. I received two boxes of cookies this year. One you could tell were made with children in the kitchen and one you could tell was a stressful attempt at being revered for “doing it all.” The ones made with tiny hand were the tastiest.
  • It’s not about going to the store to spend $30 on a stupid sweater you’ll wear once and then dumping it in the landfill to add to our ever-growing garbage pile.
  • It’s not about bragging about everything your family was honored with this year by sending a “humbe” Christmas card.

So yes, I celebrate the joy of Christmas. Spending time together and being grateful for all that we have. AND yes our kids get presents. We have the tradition of 1 small gift from Santa and some goodies in their stocking. If they get something large, I want them to acknowledge that we worked hard to buy that for them and I want them to learn how to say thank you. Being rewarded for being good with stuff is not the message we are trying to send.

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