As the leaves change colors and cover the ground with their brilliance, making my sinuses go crazy, I’m reminded that the holiday season will soon be upon us. That joyous time of the year when the stores are crowded, cashiers are inexplicably rude, and my debit card screams for mercy from the depths of my purse. I’m also reminded because the crumb snatchers have suddenly taken to following us around giving us their not-so-subtle hints about what they want for Christmas.
Sweet Pea sat at the table the other night with her chemistry book open, and her notebooks scattered around…making her Christmas list. Priorities, right? I also picked up my Touchpad the other day to find various pages of gift suggestions bookmarked in my web browser. And just moments after, G-Bear arrived on the scene to describe in detail the paintball set he’s hoping Santa will bring him. We told him that due to the recession, Santa had laid off the “war games” division at the North Pole.
I miss the days when the crumb snatchers only cared about the quantity of gifts stacked under the tree. There was a time when fifty dollars per child wisely spread between Wal-Mart and the Everything’s a Dollar Store, would bring shouts of glee on Christmas morning. Now that they are teenagers, it looks like a second mortgage on our home will be required to elicit the same response.
This whole Occupy Wall Street thing also has me thinking. The crumb snatchers need to understand the state of today’s economy and the disparity between the corporate thieves CEO’s and ordinary people like us that put a roof over their head with a corporate paycheck from HP twice a month. Right after we explain the meaning of “irony”, we’ll explain that “if it’s got stock, it won’t be bought.” Unless it’s an HP product, of course. That pretty much leaves us with no choice but to purchase their gifts from the Amish this year.
As Chief Money Maker and I review our budget and begin to strategize for the joyous gift-giving season, I’m reminded of a Christmas from my own past. I believe it was somewhere around 1980, another time our country was experiencing a recession. My father had been laid off, and my mother sat up late each night making handmade gifts for the four of us kids. And for the gifts she didn’t have time to finish, we received hand-written I.O.U’s.
That Christmas more than any other is emblazoned in my memory, not because of the lavish gifts I didn’t receive, but because of the sacrifice my mother made. And because we had snow that day…an East Texas Christmas miracle. Now that I think about it, that sounds like a sure-fire win for a Hallmark Holiday movie!
Anywho, in the next few weeks I’ll be gearing up for the holidays by getting in shape. I’ll do arm curls each night to build up the strength for all the swiping I’ll be doing with my debit card. Some cardio work will be in order to ensure I can tote my shopping bags. And I’ll practice breathing techniques that can be used to calm myself in the midst of the swarming crowds of cheerful holiday shoppers since I’m running low on my Xanax.
But most importantly, I’ll do my best to remind the crumb snatchers of the real meaning of the upcoming holiday season.