I want to shift the focus now to my hubby in which I love dearly. This will be our 30th year come April. They say opposites attract. I really believe this is true. Anthony is truly a frugal person by every definition of the word. As soon as you ask, he just says, NO! It doesn’t even matter the question. It’s his first response. Basically, he’s a curmudgeon, at times a Royal pain in the butt, it seems even more so at the Holidays.

Now, as his wife, I am the balance – (it’s a really good thing I’m a Libra) lol. I’m not a very important person; just a wife, mom and a grandma. Maybe, a few other titles as well. But, I live well and love what I do.

It’s easy to see how this can cause a problem. I know how to budget and stick to if I need to and know when to be a little more extravagant where I should be. I also, know how too… as my mom would say, “PUT ON THE DOG”! I believe people treat you differently; by the way you look and act.

With the Holidays’ coming up and all the; incoming/outgoing relatives, shopping, gifts, decorating needs, cooking, family and social functions, and other obligations it will seem like the monies just run thru our fingers like water. All the Holiday increases can really stress a family out; mentally, physically and financially but only if we allow it. I just remind myself it will all be over in just a few short weeks. Plan… Plan… Plan… Make my lists and stick to them. All in all, it has caused a few holiday arguments over the years, to say the least.

We make the same vow each year, not to buy for each other, neither of us need anything, Anthony has clothes in his closet with the tags, still on, and he’ll never wear. One, if not both of us, will break it again this year. One year, we were really roughing it and swore to only buy for the kids. Anthony had two tiny gifts under the tree for me. I was so mad, for I hadn’t bought anything for him, as per our agreement. He swore they were just socks and he could return them, if I really wanted him to… so they stayed under there and it turned out my little socks were actually, a new set of diamond wedding rings and jewelry cleaner. He really broke it. So, each I buy him something and he complains and I just say, “Talk to the hand”! He’ll say, “Take it back” but I never do. Deep down, I know he really likes it.

Anthony always seems to let me do what I need to do at the Holiday’s!

Now, where our kids are concerned, they believe their parents to be moguls and can come up with the funds to pay for a small farm in Georgia, if the need be. But in reality, like most families, we are usually robbing Peter to pay Paul and the only person who benefits from this plan, is Paul. At any rate, we need to teach them to be balanced at the holidays, as well. It all comes down too… in my opinion, our pride.

I/we need to set guidelines and budgets just to survive the Holiday’s. Not to be subconsciously goaded into making ridicules purchases; to stack gifts under the tree from floor to ceiling (which I’m prone to do) to empress the neighbors or buy lavish gifts that the person doesn’t need just so I don’t seem like a miser. Or do I delve into uncharted territory here, jealously? Will someone get made, if we should give another more than they? It happens…

How can we return to the, “Wonder Years”? The sweet loving memories we had as a child growing up of the family events all centered on being together. Not the things we may or may not have received. Counting gifts to see who may have received more. An old friend once said, when she was a little girl, Christmas was a stocking filled with, 1 apple, 1 orange and a piece of candy and the happiest in her life… Go ahead… try that today!

I try to ask myself now: Do they really need and/or want this? Or am I fulfilling some emotional need I have created around it? Is it a gift… or a responsibility?

That doesn’t mean that I can overlook the other needs that exist, and just avoid the holiday stress all together. The spiritual and emotional compensation of all of this has always been a bit of a mystery to me, and I suspect it may be for you, also. But speaking as a wife, a mother and a grandmother, I want my entire family to be happy, healthy, and loved for this is true wealth.

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The holiday’s last from Halloween to Valentines’ day if we plan ahead so will we. ~ Sheila Jean Adkins Metcalf

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