This year for Christmas, my family made one of the best decisions that I think we’ve ever made as a family. While we were sitting around for my Mom’s birthday celebration in late October, we began talking about what everyone wanted for Christmas this year. I’m sure that you have a similar conversation in your family so that everyone knows which presents to buy. It’s a fairly common occurrence, I think.
While we were beginning the conversation, I said to my Mom, “You know, I don’t really want anything. You don’t have to get anything for me.” And then my older brother jumped in right away and said, “Yeah, me neither. I don’t want anything.” And after that an entire conversation ensued about not purchasing gifts for anyone this year. Our rationale was that we each had different financial goals that we were reaching towards so spending a few hundred bucks (or, very likely, much more) on Christmas gifts that no one was really looking for would be a waste of otherwise scarce financial resources.
Frequent readers of this blog know what I was saving up for this fall/early winter. My older brother is in the process of saving money to buy a house with his fiancée, my younger brother is in the process of paying off a new truck that he bought, and my Mother is in the process of paying off her mortgage and some consumer debt. After having this conversation, we all decided that the best thing to do was to celebrate Christmas with family and friends and leave out the excessive spending on superfluous gifts.
So last Friday night, my Mom hosted our family and extended family for her annual Christmas party and it was a great time as always. Then on Saturday morning my older brother made breakfast and we enjoyed not spending a ton of money on otherwise unlooked for presents. Except for my younger brother, that is, who swore up and down that we left that conversation back in late October with the idea that we might not buy presents. This, of course, means that he was either lying through his teeth about not remembering how we left the conversation last October or that he wasn’t paying attention when we decided to not buy anything. Anyway, it doesn’t really matter if only one person didn’t stick to the rules of not buying anything, I guess.
Leaving my Mom’s house with only a few items marked one of the better Christmases that I think I’ve had in a long time. 🙂