Black Christmas

Hello, cupcakes!  Here you are, checking in on me every day and not seeing anything new.  Shame on me!  I’ve been neglecting the bloggy while pigging out on Thanksgiving side dishes then nursing the family (and then myself) off the nasty stomach virus we caught from the  sister-in-law’s kids Thanksgiving day.  In the days before Thanksgiving I pulled my usual shit and over-stretched myself.  Was it really necessary to make nine pounds of sweet potato casserole?

(I did find an excellent sugar cookie and royal icing recipe.  The turkey cookies were too pretty to eat.  So if no one ate them, why did I bother?)

Thanksgiving is now over, and it’s back to normal for a few weeks.  Today is Cyber Monday- the supposedly biggest internet shopping day of the year.  The day we’re supposed to take advantage of all the great sales online and buy mucho presents for our loved ones.  After we’ve spent mucho money and precious sleep on Black Friday.

To buy that perfect present.  To make sure our kid has the best of everything.  To get the latest toy.

I was never one for getting out early (and it gets earlier and earlier each year) to go shopping on Black Friday.  I usually do all my Christmas shopping online- no tax and free shipping is a MUST.  The insanity of Black Friday never really hit home until Beena was told not to drive to her midnight shift at the store Thanksgiving night.  The line at the adjoining Toys R Us was lined up about 300 strong and the parking lot was a mess.

At midnight.

This is certainly insane, but somewhat understandable.  With a national 9.2% unemployment rate,  and an unemployed spouse of my own, I can understand the need to save on the toys and clothes the family wants for Christmas.  Santa can’t buy everything, you know.  Times are tough.

But here’s an idea.  It’s radical, I know.  Cut back on the gift giving.  It’s not necessary to buy everything on the kid’s Christmas list, is it?  Our kids are so spoiled as it is, why do we need to feed that materialistic streak that’s so ingrained in them?  Want…want…want.  Need…need…need.  When Zombiegirl asks for an iPad I look at her like she has three heads and one of them is spewing snot.  I ask her why, oh why does she need an iPad, and she never comes up with a good answer.  She asks me daily now, just to see that look on my face, and laughs.

That look didn’t stop her from making a “suggested” Christmas list of over 25 items.  When I complained about the length of the list, she pointed to the word “suggested” and looked at me like I had four heads and two of them were spewing snot.  Okay then, after the relatives get through with it, Santa has it easy.  One or two of the “suggested” gifts should be good enough.

Ahem.

On the other hand, Beena thinks her Christmas list is sad.  There were five modest things on it.  Personally, I think that’s pretty awesome- is she that content that she wants for nothing?  She honestly couldn’t think of anything she wanted/needed.

Until a week later.  She added: a car, a job, not to be in school anymore and a million dollars.

(Dream on, kid.  It ain’t that easy.  Santa don’t play that way.)

Playing the grouchy, grinchy part, I took a cue from last year’s Christmas card slaughter and I slashed my Christmas gift list.  It wasn’t too big to begin with, but there was some excess weight I was able to trim.  Never gave my kid a gift in return, even though I’ve given your kids for years?  Slash.  Totally self-absorbed and not a good friend to me or my family?  Slash.  Teacher gifts?  Even though there are more teachers in middle school than in elementary, I’ll be able to put together some candy tins instead of the Amazon gift certificates I gave every year.  Slash, slash, slash.  Save money by NOT having a Christmas party this year?  Slash!

I will still give to the family we adopted at work, and I’ll still buy toys for homeless kids.  Even in lean times, you still have to remember the less fortunate.

Other than that, it’s a bloody mess on my Christmas excel spreadsheet!  Hooray! 

 So I’m back, bitching and complaining.  Was it worth the wait?

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