Friday, December 18, 2009

What do the holidays mean to you?

I've said before that our finances have been pretty tight living off my salary alone.. We just DON'T have extra money floating around. We had to buy a new set of tires for the XTerra, which unfortunately were not cheap, and Graham's student loans haven't come through yet for last quarter. We had to take out money from his 401K to pay for his tuition last quarter. Graham DID get a job, but we don't know when his first paycheck will arrive.

It's been rough with so many events this month: my birthday, our anniversary, my dad's birthday, my nephew's birthday, a baby shower, a wedding, etc... I coud literally spend half of my paycheck on other people. So, this has been our plan for the holidays this year: prioritize gift giving (sorry friends who got married over the summer--your invitations are still on our fridge with the hope of buying you something someday.. Tyler.. this means you), buy my birthday gift late, celebrate our 2nd anniversary when our tax refund hopefully comes next year, buy small gifts only for the other people in our life, and perhaps celebrating Christmas in a different way.

And faced with a giftless Christmas, I started feeling really down and I started investigating exactly WHY the thought of no gifts depresses me.

Buying something I know someone wants brings me joy. Not being able to afford anything brings me sadness.

The holidays are about giving.. Does it have to mean giving gifts?

Maybe it's about spending time with family and giving your time to be with them.

Maybe it's about appreciating what you have and not agonizing over the things you don't have. I guess it could be about giving thanks..

I guess this year, Christmas is all about hope. When Christ was born, people all around the world could feel the hope that His birth would somehow change the world..

I can feel hope for the future, but it's just hard right now.


Shannon said...

I think this is a rough Christmas for a lot of people. I also think you hit it right on the head. Christmas is all about hope and gratitude. I hope that you can enjoy the less expensive traditions of the season and still have a wonderful Christmas!

I know it sucks not having money, but I also think you can't get too down about it. That's just kind of how married life starts out. Especially if you or your spouse is still in school. You'll hopefully look back at this Christmas in 5 years and be even more grateful for what you have and that you could weather tough times because you were together. Aww. Sappy, but true. Hang in there! And tell Graham congrats on the new job!

The Boob Nazi said...

I didn't even give myself a BIRTHDAY present this year! W.T.F....

Right now, I'm giving mom a hard time about forcing me to watch "Clean House."

Sue said...

So we're NOT watching clean house! I do so enjoy giving a gift someone wants. It makes me happy. But I am SUPER happy all my family is going to visit me. Yay! That is the most fun. We will go to movies, spend time together, and share memories. I absolutely love it. Not that I don't love my Christmas decorations and all the trimmings, because I do. I am so looking forward to all the rest. Be happy! You get to come home.

Tyler said...

I'm still trying to find extra money to get you guys YOUR wedding present, let's just call it even. When you guys got married was right before my move to Provo and when all my initial moving/college stuff was due and I ended up not doing anything that year for Christmas either. The only reason there are presents under the tree this year is because we got presents for each other instead of paying our bills in hopes that by the time our financial aid comes in our bills won't be too late.

In reality the best part of our holidays so far has been spending time together and doing random holiday stuff. We decorated the house, got some Christmas music to play, made homemade apple cider, sugar cookies, gingerbread houses, etc... Besides the spiritual side of things we still were able to do some simple fairly inexpensive things to get in the holiday spirit.

I'm sad we won't see you guys over Christmas, next year though!

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