Monday, November 10, 2008

Second-Hand, First-Rate Christmas

***First let me say (that even though I sound like a total and complete Scrooge in the following post) how excited I am for Christmas this year. On November 1 I realized Halloween was over, and the Christmas Season had begun. (Though it seems I was behind most shopping centers.) I know some people don't like to start it until after Thanksgiving, but for me Christmas and Thanksgiving go hand and hand. I think Thanksgiving is an integral part of Christmas and doesn't end in November. Plus, one month is definitely not long enough for Christmas music. We get to go to Utah to spend Christmas with my grandparents this year, and I'm really excited about that as well. We have lots of family down there that I'm hoping to be able to see while we're there.***

So amongst our Christmas plans, Jerrod and I were talking about how there really isn't anything we or our kids want or need this year. (Well, I do really like/want Helam really wants the "Sweetpeace" Newborn Soothing Center... so maybe erase the "want," and just stick with the "need this year" part..) But we still wanted to do the whole year presents under the tree for the kids thing.

So, instead of wasting money on junk that the kids will forget 3 weeks after Christmas, and as a brilliant plan to stay out of Toys'R'Us as well as the snow and slush this year in an effort to be fiscally responsible, and as our little part to "go green," we've decided that this year Christmas will be recycled. We have a garage full of junk cool stuff that has just been packed up and moved from place to place, a lot of which has not been unpacked for a year or more, or used at all, or used 1-2 times, or we've just plain old forgotten we have it. (Actually, while writing this, I just remembered a violin that we bought for Sariah 1 1/2 years ago, right before moving to Newport News that she's never gotten the opportunity to use. Guess what she's getting?) Also, we have boxes and buckets of toys that have been packed up and stored and forgotten that we already know the kids love and will love to see again. (I'll be happy to get rid of the toys I would not love to see again...) I figure if we feed them lots of sugar, and have the Christmas lights really really bright, and the music quite loud, they may not realize that these are the same presents from last year.

I know at first this idea seems somewhat tacky unique, but I'm actually quite excited about it. There are so many benefits, and the more I think about it, the more the idea makes sense, and the more excited I'm getting. This also gives us a great opportunity to clean through our stuff in storage. I'm so excited to get this stuff sorted and eliminated, and this way I can listen to Christmas songs while doing it, and sorting through old boxes should hold a lot of the same excitement that Christmas shopping does, with none of the money spending guilt!

***A lot of the excitement in this post is from when I initially wrote this a couple days ago, while excited to go on a date with Jerrod, and I may or may not have partaken of a beverage containing caffeine, so now editing in the light of a new day, tired and sober, some of the initial excitement has worn off.. but this is still how we're doing Christmas this year. (Though Santa may bring a couple new things for the kids and Jerrod.)***

When we were newly(er) married we had a similar Christmas. We had no money. Seriously, none. I'm guessing less than 100 in the bank and an unpaid electric bill. I'm pretty sure everything that was actually purchased by us that year came from the dollar store or was really really cheap to order from the the Distribution Center. (Their free pamphlets and booklets.)

Anyway, when we got married, Jerrod's mom brought a bunch of suitcases and boxes of Jerrod's stuff that he'd left at home for him. After 2 years, he'd still not gone through it. So that Christmas, I went through it, and among the old love notes, and papers detailing (exaggerating) the beauty and virtues of previous girlfriends mission journals, and his old comic villain drawings (which were actually pretty good) there was all sorts of interesting stuff. So that year for Christmas, he got his old baseball card collection he hadn't seen in years, some old Opera videos, mission pictures, his old high school letter stuff, and for the life of me I can't remember what else. Yeah, he'd seen it all before, but he got all teary eyed, and loved it. It also made the underside of our tree look quite nice with all that stuff wrapped up. It was a very sweet Christmas.


Sister Brittster said...

I love it Tenise! It is a fantastic idea. It will definitely make your kids more appreciative of the things that they don't even realize that they have! You are one smart cookie!

K kid said...

I loved this post! So funny... and a great idea. =]

Andrea said...

I think it is a great idea too. Christmas seems to often get lost in all the commercialism (is that a word?). I think the true spirit of Christmas will surely be present in your home this year.