SAM's recent comment in a blog post about spending for the holidays and making sure she didn't have residual expenses being paid for in January reminded me of years ago when dh and I were newly married. I think we had been married a couple of years and going into that holiday season dh had just gotten laid off his job and I only worked part time and went to school full time. We were more than broke, as I think we were even still paying off some hospital bill I had earlier that year (my lung has collapsed).
My family had always drawn names with all the adults. This had been our tradition as long as I could remember, so we only had 2 gifts to purchase for my side of the family. Our family holiday gatherings were never much about the gifts, it was about the food and gathering together. DH's family (larger than mine) had never drawn names and gifts were the main aspect of their traditions. I think the prior Christmas was our first Christmas as a married couple and to keep up with all the gifts we needed to purchase for dh's family, I remember charging most of them on our JCPenney card. By the time this next Christmas rolled around I was still paying off the prior Christmas! I said never again will I charge for Christmas gifts! We had barely any money to spend of gifts and certainly not enough for the 12 or so gifts we would need to purchase for his family members. I remember asking "could we draw names?". Nope, his mom was having nothing to do with that. I told dh well, then everyone gets a $5 gift this year, because that's all we can afford and I'm not putting gifts on a charge card. I'm still paying off last years gifts.
So, while I felt like a cheap scrooge, that's what I did, spent about $5 on each person (this was back in the late 80's). I don't really remember what gifts I got now, but I do recall we gave my FIL a loaf of homemade banana bread. Something he loved so much, I continued that tradition for him. I think I probably got the women some candles.
Fast forward a few more years and dh's younger siblings were now married and starting families. Suddenly they were mature enough to realize how costly all these gifts were and they talked dh's mom into getting into the name drawing tradition (which we then did all the years forward). But ever since that one year, I have stuck to my decision that I would never put Christmas gifts on a charge card.
Speaking of gifts - I am planning to get dd's birthday gift out via UPS today. UPS is supposed to be delivering a package here, so I'll be able to give him my outgoing package, plus the tennis shoes I need to return to Skechers. That worked out good. Otherwise we were going to drive into town today to drop off at the store, that takes UPS packages. I just need to get the cookies made! and yesterday I realized I don't have any packages of the cookie mix for peanut butter cookies, just 3 packages of snickerdoodle mix. Dang, but dd said snickerdoodles are just as fine with her, so that's what she's getting, LOL. The first batch is in the oven right now.
Oh and we got woke up around 4:45am by neighbor's son dog barking non stop for almost an hour, until Mr got home. He had to take Mrs to the airport. I know I sound like a broken record, but what part of "the dog barks non stop when you leave him alone and leave him access to use the dog door to be outside???!!!" do they not get?. So, when Mr gets back home at 5:45 of course then all the dogs bark for a minute (that's normal, to be expected, they are excited to see their human and want to say hello). This morning dh gets an email from Mr. that says "sorry about the barking at 5:45 this morning when I got back from dropping Mrs at airport. It's going to happen again when I pick her up in 10 days". Does he really think that's the only barking that went on? Dh did a good reply. He said "unfortunately C (son's big dog) barked the whole time you were gone. Maybe you should give me your son and DIL's phone numbers and I can send them a recording to listen to for hours". Seriously, Mr knew he was going to be gone for a little over an hour this morning, he knows the dog has a barking issue, is it really that hard to just keep the dog inside for an hour or 90 minutes while you are gone? I just do not get it at all.
I'm glad to today is finally election day and that will be over soon. The big issue in our county is the election for sheriff. Either way, in the end, it's probably not going to matter which person wins. Our sheriff's dept is a joke and most likely still will be.
The snow has stuck in the trees and ground, so it's pretty out. Dh got to test out his new plow yesterday. It takes care of it all in quick time. He loves it.