When did Christmas become so expensive? This is the time of year we start to buy gifts for our loved ones. It seems to cost more and more every year.
Do you remember that “Little House on the Prairie” episode where Mr. Edwards travels through the freezing snow just to bring presents to Laura and her sister, Mary. He brings them each a peppermint stick and their own cup. He brought Ma some yams. Sometimes, it was a new dress or a hand made quilt to keep them warm. But it was all about love, family and celebrating the birth of Jesus.
Today, we are lucky to afford what we have. It’s nice to be able to buy a quilt. A package of peppermint sticks cost fifty cents. Now, we don’t have to walk for miles to find a Christmas tree then drag it home in the cold. We can buy Christmas trees when we pay for our groceries. We can even skip that part and buy one that is already decorated. We always went to a tree farm to buy and cut our own tree. We would spend all evening decorating it.
Now, we don’t need to slave over a stove for hours to make everyone a popular fruit cake or prepare a turkey with all the trimmings. We can buy them all at our local store already made up. You just need to pre-order.
Kids, now a day, can get everything they want. If they have an internet connection, they can go online and make a wish list on a popular toy site. Then, friends and family can view this list, purchase, and have it mailed directly to the child without leaving the house.
When I was a little girl, we lived in the country and had no access to big toy stores. So every year, a Sears catalog was delivered to our home about two months before Christmas. I would look at that catalog every chance I got. I would make a list. Then, I would anticipate Christmas morning. I would wake my brother up at 6:00 in the morning to see what Santa brought us. Then, I would run upstairs to wake Mom and Dad up. We weren’t allowed to open anything until they came down. Now I know why. They spent all that money and they wanted to see the results. We always had about five to seven gifts a piece under the tree. It seemed like it took us hours to unwrap them all. We would spend Christmas Eve at my mom’s parents, and Christmas Day with my Dad’s parents.
I buy my kids one present that is “a blast from the past” such as a game or toy. We also go to his parents on Christmas Eve and my mom’s on Christmas Day. I lost my Dad to cancer a few years ago, so now it is just mom. It’s still special though. I try every year to think of different ways to make Christmas more “old fashioned” , but in today’s world, it is almost impossible.
Regardless of all the money and all the presents, we still have a wonderful family holiday.