December 17, 2010

My *Poor* Children

I have been done Christmas shopping for the kids since October. My goal is always to have the bulk of the Santa gifts bought by Halloween. I've been doing this for the past three or four years and it has completely eliminated the holiday stress in my life. I do not get all time constraint crazy in the weeks leading up to the big day because, I can honestly say, I have been done for months.

The danger in this little tradition, however, is not continuing to purchase additional gifts throughout November and December which is so very hard with all of the advertisements, free shipping and other holiday gimmicks constantly in your face. I do pretty well avoiding the temptation, though. Mostly because I still have Husband, my family, my friends and their kids to shop for, which still leaves me just enough holiday shopping to do without making me want to spike the egg nog.

Not only do my kids get the benefit of not having to deal with Psycho Santa mom, but they also get awesome stocking stuffers Christmas morning. The stockings in my house are no longer an after thought... "Shoot! The stockings. What time is Walgreen's open 'til? I need a bag of candy."... because they are the only thing that I do allow myself to purchase for after Halloween. If it won't fit, I won't/can't/don't buy it. I will admit, I've had to upgrade to some industrial strength hooks for hanging those suckers the last couple of seasons. *snicker*

Now, the reason I've gone into all of this is not merely to say, "Look at me. Look at me, I was done Christmas shopping while you were still trying to figure out what costume your kid was going to wear for Trick-or-Treat." (though, there's probably some of that in here for good measure), but because I came across something so ridiculous on the internets that I felt I must share... and mock.

Go ahead, click on the link. I'll wait while you take in the whole article and its insanity.

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Done? Good. Now I may rant. First, this came up when I did an online search for stocking stuffers. How many of those gift ideas would actually fit in a stocking? Which makes me think maybe I overestimated the awesomeness of my kids' stockings. Perhaps they are actually quite miniature and I am just clueless. Anyway... It was not really the size of these items that got me, but the PRICE. The article defines stocking stuffers as "small gifts that are supplemental to the bigger, higher-priced main gifts that boys and girls receive during the December holiday season."

Umm, can I just ask... What the hell are parents spending on Christmas gifts?! Those *stocking stuffers* are priced about the same (if not more than) what I spend on the main gifts. And I think I spend a crazy amount, so I am really just baffled by all of this. I'm over here patting myself on the back, feeling like Super Santa for managing to upgraded the trinkets and treasures in our stockings from last minute whatever-the-Dollar-Store-has-left candy to chapter books and silly bands, just to find out this Santa is apparently c-h-e-a-p. Its a good thing my kids have grandparents (not to mention an uncle) who are the spoiling type or their Christmas might be ruined. *please note sarcasm*

Maybe I'll be less of a Scrooge with my grandkids and I'll splurge on the 3ft. stockings stuffed with $20 pillow pets and $50 Talking Buzz Lightyears (or whatever the fad is 25 years from now), but first let me worry about putting three kids through college. After all, the Santa around these parts does have his priorities and is frugal for a reason.