Sunday, December 9, 2007

Perspective on holidays changes with age

It's a little more than two weeks till Christmas, and we've already finished most of our shopping.

It helps that our kids are grown, and we don't have any grandchildren yet. In fact, the only actual children for whom we shop are my two young nephews.

We're not quite at the gift certificates or checks stage, but instead of getting each of our two kids eight or nine gifts, we're down to two or three for about the same amount of money. Of course, we've acquired a son-in-law and a prospective daughter-in-law as well, which does complicate things a little.

What's great about it though is that most of our Christmas these days is giving, not receiving.

My wife and I have most of what we need; in fact, we got a wonderful Christmas gift already in the form of the great health news I wrote about earlier this week. We'll buy something for each other, but mostly, we spend money on the people we love.

That's so much more fun than waiting and wondering whether we'll get what we want and as often as not being disappointed.

"What, no pony again?"

Yup, definitely better this way.


Anonymous said...

merry christ day !
i live below poverty level, but, i own[all paid for] my little bungalow.
this year, food & heat are my gifts to my son and visiting daughter with hubby.
it is the spirit !

happy holidays, to all.


Sean Kennedy said...

We've told the kids, and the in-laws, that the Wounded Warriors will get the cash equivalent of what we spend on them normally. We don't need ANYTHING. At this stage of our lives, if we've lived without it this long, we probably don't NEED it. It's far better to give, to be sure, and it's time to focus more attention on those folks who really NEED it.

Gail Schultz MacLeod said...

Decades ago we got rid of the Christmas Tree, something about having a tree created a compulsion to buy stuff to put under it. Instead we go away for a week or so at Christmas -- that is the gift.

Our rule now is to only give friends consumable gifts or totally joke gifts. No more "stuff".

House rule: something comes into the house, something goes out. We don't want an attic or basement full -- which is as it was after living 26 years in the same house in San Diego.

As people age I think they either become acquirers or simplifiers. The former tend to have piles of papers and things all over their house. The latter tend to have fewer things.

Are we the transition generation between our frugal, practical WWII era parents and the totally consumed consumer? Why do people believe having more is better? Didn't they hear, they can't take it with them?