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Keeping Christmas Simple

November 9th, 2011 at 05:46 pm

It's that time of year when everyone gets crazed!!

& I sit back and don't partake in the crazy. Phew!

Sure, we do Christmas, but just not in the manner that our culture prescribes.

I think my attitude about Christmas has largely evolved from working at the office I do now, and have worked for the last 10 years. The last 2 weeks of December symbolize the beginning of tax season, for us. We are lucky we get Christmas Day and New Years Day off. I am always amazed how we make it work those two 4-day weeks with the insane workload.

Thus, I have no interest in running myself ragged for Christmas. In the past I generally would have all my shopping done well before Thanksgiving. But these days I don't even bother to shop.

While I have been too busy to care that much, most our family and friends have done pretty well and decided they are tired of all the stuff that Christmas symbolizes. So, no one really wants to trade gifts any more. Makes it easy on me!

Dh will do the Sholastic volunteering at the big pre-Christmas sales and will earn enough credit to give the teachers and the schools nice gifts (Scholastic gift cards, basically) and we will have piles of books for our kids and nieces for Christmas.

I've got so many Amazon gift cards, that I am thinking we will give $25/each to the two primary school teachers of our children, and maybe keep one for the work gift exchange. This keeps with our Scholastic theme of being generous but not spending money.

I spotted calendars at Michael's for $2. Sometimes we wait until after New Years, but sometime the pickings are slim. At $2 I didn't mind taking first choice. Stocking stuffers for the kids (silly calendars for them).

Our moms are both getting free kindles from us (Amazon gift cards). Is definitely a SPECIAL treat.

Dh got the kids some new DS system. Free through amazon.

& dh has bought up a few (small) things throughout the year.

I saw something cute at Walgreens yesterday - for more stocking stuffers. Most years I also hit the Dollar Store (at lunch break - it's right by my work) for some stocking stuffers. I don't think I need to bother this year.

SIL makes photo calendars every year of the kids. I sent her a bunch of photos. For Grandma and Great-Grandma. They get some gift cards for Grandma. Since we are going in on the kindle, I don't think I will owe her anything for the stuff - dh and her usually go in on all the gifts. SIL aside, dh's parents and Grandma are WAY into the material Christmas thing. But, they don't expect much from us, all the same. So they are the only ones we really buy gifts for, specifically. With our own kids, we tend to go small, because in-laws tend to go insane and give them each tens of gifts.

Dh will put up the (fake) tree after Thanksgiving. We will all decorate it. There isn't a lot of other decorating we do. (Keep it simple)!

On Christmas Day our folks come over. Dh and I agreed our primary rule for Christmas is that we do not go anywhere. Dh really wants to let the kid enjoy Christmas at home. I just don't want to commit to anything during my hell weeks at work. Visiting family takes hours of driving. Let the retired ones come to us. I won't clean the house and we usually order pizza. Whoever doesn't like a relaxed Christmas doesn't have to come. Wink

Sometimes dh will throw something in the crockpot for Christmas Day. I do always make my "easiest ever" fudge - it takes about 5 minutes to make - and is DIVINE!

I suppose it is tradition to buy my dad some almond roca, and write checks for big work gift to boss (we all go in on something nice, and boss gives us nice gifts in return). & I give a little extra to the gardener. These are all in the vein of simple. & for this year this may be our only real spending...

Is my Christmas shopping done? I suppose so. There just wasn't much to it!

7 Responses to “Keeping Christmas Simple”

  1. Miz Pat Says:

    I save $500 for the year for Christmas. Most of it goes to my sister and 6 nephews and nieces as various gift cards and as a big box of specialty foods I can get here that they can't get where they live.

  2. pretty cheap jewelry Says:

    Ha! pizza on christmas! my Italian in laws have always made eggplant parmigian, stuffed shells, and a sausage/mushroom dish. Fine with me cause I don't have a family tradition on my side.

  3. MonkeyMama Says:

    Actually, we used to order Thai food, but our favorite place decided to close Christmas. Frown We just order in whatever we can find. But may be why I recall dh cooking something in more recent years. Which is fine - feel kind of bad that there are people working on Christmas.

    Our grocery store has GREAT take and bake pizzas too. Maybe *that* is what we have been doing! (I don't remember for sure- dh is in charge of food - but I recall pizza on Christmas!)

  4. OneFamily Says:

    You should share the easy fudge recipe :-)

  5. MonkeyMama Says:

    If you search fudge in my blog you will find it:

    http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,179,150165-227201,00.html
    I generally melt the butter first, pour everything else in, stir, microwave a bit more, and stir. Then throw it in the fridge or freezer (not too long in freezer) because we can't wait to eat it! Anyway, the fact that this recipe mentioned "sifting" made me laugh. No way! Just melt the butter first. No sifting required.

  6. ceejay74 Says:

    I suppose we put "work" into the holidays, but it's fun work, and the results are fun. Smile We sometimes mean to send out Xmas cards but hardly ever get around to it. When we do, we always end up sending the bare minimum.

    The biggies for us are decorating the house & tree (though we don't go nuts); hanging out with friends on Thanksgiving, day after Thanksgiving & Xmas Eve; having Xmas Day all to ourselves for opening a bunch of gifts; and then cooking a big festive dinner just for us on Xmas.

    NT is a busy beaver and REALLY likes giving things, so he has a lot of side projects like sending gifts to tons of people back in England, writing out cards for his whole office, calling all his relatives on Xmas Day, etc. AS and I stay out of it. Sometimes we call up our parents to say hi, and I usually send gifts for my mom and dad if I can think of something neat.

    My favorite traditions? Having time off from work, snacking and playing games. Jigsaw puzzles & Wii games are my favorites. We relax a LOT when we're not doing one of the above things. Spiked soy nog and mulled wine really help too. Wink

  7. MonkeyMama Says:

    Er - I edited to clarify we had a fake tree - one more aspect of simple. An edit pushing this to the top of the page, is new??? Sorry about that! I guess I stay on top...

    Anyway, fake tree is more of a function of too many neighborhood house fires with the real thing. But, yeah, who am I kidding. Like we would go through the effort anyway...

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