As soon as I post this, I am off to the mall to finish my holiday shopping. It will be a leaner Christmas for the Schafer’s, but mostly because I bought myself a $1,000 emergency root canal last week. I can’t blame the economy on that. I did share my thoughts on how to handle the money crisis and the upcoming holiday with children in yesterday’s Globe and Mail.
Frankly, I am happy to do some consumer downsizing and spend more of my energies on the other traditions that surround this season. Here is some of what our family does:
- I have bought each of my children a goat to give to another family through Free The Children. This is an organization my daughter is involved with, and a goat is a really tangible thing that they were thrilled to “get” for these other children. (Yeah, I already told them. Couldn’t wait till the 25th!)
- Last year I asked my daughter to give something to the families in Darfur as her gift to me. That meant she had to do some research, and she was really moved but what she learned. It was a gift to us both, really. She was really proud to have sent her own money to their aid.
- Every year my husband and I ask our children for something they have made themselves.They are 13 and 14 years old now, but I still keep this tradition going. Last year, I got a wonderful scrapbook that my daughter compiled called, “The 100 things I love about you.” The year before, I received a tin box with a glass front, and inside the tin was a note that said, ” We blew 100 kisses each into this box for you,” so I could have a kiss anytime I needed one.