Tuesday, 23 December 2008

The Conspiracy

We are part of the conspiracy.

December is full of "Are you ready for Christmas?" which is a euphemism for "Did you buy all your presents yet? Are you sure you have enough presents? Did you remember great aunt whatshername? How much did you spend on your kids? What did you get for your parents? Your husband? Are you sure you're totally done?"

To which I reply: Of course I am ready. Santa is very low-key in our house. He brings one gift to each person. No, this gift is not a Powerwheels quad or an iPhone 3G or a new car. No, Santa did not put gifts on my credit cards, and no, he did not buy people things on their "lists."

In our house, Santa gives from the heart.

This year, Santa is bringing the boys each a bead-wire maze. You know, those bead-wire toys that you always see in doctors' offices and you always wonder where you could get one. Mrs. Ho Ho Ho went on the internet and found a baby-sized one for Kees and a regular one for Sacha, and it took me an hour to wrap them since the man in red doesn't do wrapping and I have been told by some that I should never seek employment at those booths in malls that wrap presents for you. I'm that bad.

I also bought each boy a nursing necklace with their names on them, as I thought it would make a great keepsake. These are going in their stockings.

As for the parents, I made them a custom calendar featuring about 80 photos from their kids and grandkids, as well as all the birthdays and anniversaries from the family. It took me about 4 hours of work per calendar (one for my family, one for the out-laws) but they really are worth it.

And I will not reveal what I bought Tony, as he reads this blog. (Hi Tony. I am not an idiot. You will have to wait until Christmas.) We also gave a couple gifts to godchildren (we have 2) and our niece and nephew, which Sacha helped pick out and wrap (that was an exercise in patience).

Sacha also made a special gift for his Grandma and his Baba (which they haven't opened yet) with moderate adult intervention. Kees kissed their cards. Or tried to eat them. Either way, he left his mark.

Christmas cost us about $3oo this year.

So what did we do with all the extra money that could have been spent on novelty gifts and miscellaneous Christmas crap? Tony and I have made it a tradition to donate to charities as part of our Christmas giving. We donated about $200 above and beyond our habitual acts of charity. Do we benefit from this? Not directly (unless you consider a tax receipt). Someone else, however, will benefit from our gift more than we can possibly imagine.

And that thought is enough to keep me happily humming Jingle Bells all year long.

That, and Sacha is obsessed with the Barenaked Ladies version of Jingle Bells. There will be an uprising when I put that CD away after the holidays.

Kitty in a Spruce Tree
Our Kitty in a Tree, through Sacha's Lens


  1. Thank you for sharing this. With so much 'I want I want' around here I was beginning to wonder if we bought enough. Randy and I buy everyone's gift with cash so we also go modestly for the most part. Santa is bringing the boys a very big gift this year and dh went a little over board on the boys but we did not charge anything which makes us very happy.

    We also give to our church this time of year and hope that it can give at least one family a happy new year.

    Happy Holidays!

  2. Thanks. It's nice to know we're not the only ones who think 12 presents for a kid is overboard! ;)
    Our problem is... when we find the perfect gift for someone then we feel we have to spend that much on every other person (adults) or it won't be fair. Especially between my family and his. It's ridiculous, but it almost becomes a battle between me and him, his and mine. Ugh.

  3. You'd be appalled at the length of my Christmas list, it is almost as long as Santa's, and I don't require good behaviour. But almost everything is like hand-made mittens, cookies, dollar store joke stuff. Except for my mom, I use Christmas as an excuse to buy her stuff she can't afford on her limited income, and wouldn't accept other times. ho ho ho Have a wonderful Christmas.

  4. Hi Sarah....Our Christmas is the same. The kids have one "big present" to share. (this year a $100 wood kitchen with accessories) and each a tiny gift. So they were quite happy to have these things at home. THEN we went to the grandparents to see everyone. And then the message was totally lost amid gifts galore and a 3 year old who couldn't stop asking if there was more for him....

  5. Oh, that BNL song is gold here too.....But for me!!!

  6. Had you seen that Advent Conspiracy site before? Or just after I sent you the link? I love that site too.

  7. Very nice Sarie! You should ask Tino about his Christmas lists when he was a young-in!


Thoughts? Comments? Questions?