This Christmas, we decided to concentrate less on gifts & more on family. We set a budget & stuck to it. We bought each kid something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read. We did not use a single credit card to pay for anything, I saved up & used that money. Now, it’s January and we are not broke.
On Christmas, the kids opened up their gifts in the evening as they were all with their other parent for christmas morning. We had explained to them for months that the plan was 4 gifts each, some from us, some from santa. When they were gathered together opening their gifts, it felt like the Christmas’ I had as a kid. There weren’t a million gifts to open, each kid was excited to open each gift. They even loved their jammies. It was different than my previous Christmas’ because every year in the past, I would go out and spend tons of money, schlep a million toys into the house, spend hours wrapping the crap, only to have half of it never played with or broken in a week. I would drag the tree up & decorate it with the kids. I did all of this alone. I was trying to create moments that didn’t exist.
This was the most meaningful Christmas I have ever had. I don’t know if it is because I am getting older, have gone through one heck of a year, or that I have a partner who is interested in actively participating in my life. I don’t really care the reason, I am just grateful to have had it. I hope to have many more meaningful Christmas’ in the future. But if I don’t, I am still grateful to have had this one.
The Laughing Heart by Charles Bukowski
your life is your life
don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.
be on the watch.
there are ways out.
there is light somewhere.
it may not be much light but
it beats the darkness.
be on the watch.
the gods will offer you chances.
you can’t beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.
your life is your life.
know it while you have it.
you are marvelous
the gods wait to delight
— by Charles Bukowski