We pay cash for Christmas presents, we don’t go into debt, but I spent far more than that on just Mrs. Astro… and came close to that for each of the kids.If my wife and spend $1000 total for all five of us with most of that "needed stuff" that would be a lot. Crazy to think people put themselves in debt for Christmas presents.
One of the great things about Christmas is being able to give.
I don’t expect anything, in fact, I really don’t want anything, but I sure do like finding things that other people will appreciate. Like a crystal scotch glass, from Scotland, for a buddy who likes a Scotch now and then. A new set of skis and convertible/backcountry bindings for my daughter in Salt Lake. A new iPhone for my Mom. And it’s not just one present for the kids. I find things throughout the year. I got a set of pewter ornaments, made by a small shop in Vermont, back in August.
I genuinely like getting things for other people.
Let me have that opportunity, and a chance to go to a Christmas Eve service, and it’s a good Christmas.
The two things I remember best from childhood - staying up late on Christmas Eve, going to service and seeing all the presents under the tree.
Allow me to share one of my favorite Christmas moments from my adulthood, when my youngest was 7 years old. There’s a whole story about a canceled flight, ice storm in the Northeast, and a 700 mile rental car one way drive from Vermont to Virginia in blizzard and freezing rain conditions, no map or GPS, to arrive at my home about 04:00, to get there “before Santa” on Christmas morning but that’s not the important part.
My youngest had lost her very favorite toy a few years earlier, a Playmobile Reindeer that was part of a limited edition Christmas collection. When asked what she wanted to be when she grew up, she would say, “A Reindeer!” When the Reindeer was lost, the set was no longer available, and my ex had thrown out the remainder of set for some reason. No Reindeer to be had.
I found a new, in box, set on EBay. I bought it. Wrapped up with a note “from Santa” explaining how Santa knew how much she missed her Reindeer, and how much he liked Reindeer, too, so he’d had his elves find her the Playmobile Christmas set.
After opening it, and seeing how happy she was to have the lost treasure replaced, the best part; an hour later she came to me, saying,“Dad, I have proof that Santa is real”. “Why, honey, because he wrote you a letter?” “No, Dad, think about it, who else could find something that hasn’t been made in years, brand new, just for me?”
Well, what could I say, other than, “That’s an excellent point. Merry Christmas”