I hate what Christmas has become. The crowds. The prices. The commercialism. How did humanity get so far from stringing cranberries and popcorn on a tree we hauled out of the woods? Sure, technology and modern appliances have made life easier in dozens of ways, but how did Christmas become a contest to see how much we could buy our children? Where can it end when a six-year old child has a computer and a cell-phone? What can we possibly buy him next year that’ll satisfy him?
I admit I was sucked into this catacomb of commercial competition. I bought my grandkids—not cell phones or computers—but gadgets and toys and clothes. The pile of gifts began under the tree and stretched across one end of the living room. My bank account was drained. My body exhausted after days of assembling plastic parts and wrapping boxes. Four years ago, it all changed when one of the grandkids finished opening the last gift and said, “Is that all?”
My husband and I sat down afterward and decided to change Christmas at our house. We now buy each kid one gift. Something nice. Something we’ve put a lot of thought into. It’s not cheap, but is certainly cheaper than previous years. Last year we gave horseback riding lessons. This year a Wii. Gift giving wasn’t the only change. We make bread from scratch, adorn the tree with homemade decorations. Yes, we’ve gotten the reputation for being ‘cheap’ but we’re richer for it in a lot of ways.