I sit here wondering, is it just me or, as we get older do we become more Scrooge-like?
Well, most likely, it is just me. I am 46 years old with two teenage boys. The days of visiting Santa at the mall are long gone. The letter writing, list making, and wish granting are a thing of the past. This year I thought I was scott-free of the Christmas hassle of lugging out the boxes from the garage storage space, opening them, and unwrapping cold, faded, and 'antique' decorations. I had it in my mind that I would devote only one room in the house to red and green and mismatched tchotchkes. But alas, four days before Christmas my husband has to spoil my plan and 'surprise' us with a Christmas tree. I adopted my Scrooge persona and vowed to lift not one finger in its adornment.
On day two he dragged the plump, little munchkin of a tree into the house and erected it in the stand. It wasn't too bad; it was green, after all. But, it was all of four feet tall. I asked him how much he spent and he said $10, although it may have been more. After fussing a bit, he decided to decapitate the top branch. I don't know what he was thinking. Every time I walked through the living room I thought, "I have a headless Christmas tree", and then I would giggle to myself.
On day three he strategically placed two strands of multi-colored lights and some gold tinsel. I have to say, the lights did look nice but I must admit the final product really accentuated the fact that there was no top to the tree. The year of the headless-Christmas tree! After a snide comment from me, my husband sneaked into the garage, searched through the boxes, and at midnight placed a colorful star on top. Now, I will admit that it really doesn't look too bad. There are still no ornaments on the tree. I refuse to participate. Bah-hum-bug.
It really has been a minimalist Christmas. The only reason why we have a holiday flag on the pole outside our home is because my Aunt Peggy gave me a brand new one she found at the Salvation Army. My mother was kind enough to give me a fresh wreath she ordered and had delivered from L.L. Bean. My mom even purchased a new tablecloth for our traditional annual Christmas brunch. There was a box of knick-knacks she was gonna donate to Goodwill and I confiscated them and placed them on the banquet table in the dining room. David, my husband, purchased a poinsetta plant that sits on the top of the dining room table.
My plan was to have a budget for each person in our immediate family. No more than $30 per person. A very limited Christmas, indeed. Let's face it, we really don't 'need' anything. The economy sucks. And, would you rather have electricity and a holiday meal or yet another pair of slippers and a shaving kit? Well, as time went on and now that we are one day before Christmas I believe I blew my budget by about three times the amount. Still, not as much as I have spent in the past when the kids were little and into the latest video game or action figure. Now, as teenagers, they are happy with a gift card and a new pair of sneakers.
I think my phase of Grinch during Christmas will last until I have grandchildren. And, I pray that that is quite a few years down the road!