Did You Get What You Wanted for Christmas?

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Photo Credit: Carolwrightgifts

So, how was your Christmas?

Mine was simply fabulous. In fact, it was the most enjoyable Christmas I’ve had in years, thanks for asking.

What made this Christmas so different? Come with the spirit of Christmas past as we revisit the Pizel family holiday tour of 2011:

First, we see a family of four sitting in their living room on Christmas morning. There aren’t as many presents under the tree as their had been in previous years, but the kids don’t seem to notice. Both children got several gifts that were at the top of their list, and they are mauling their parents with hugs and Thank Yous. Their parents spent the least on Christmas gifts this year than they had in any previous year, but were able to provide great gifts through finding great sales on Black Friday (afternoon), using online coupon codes, redeeming Swagbucks for Amazon.com credit, and buying some used computer games via Craig’s List.

Next we see the same family of four at a large family gathering. They are at a sister-in-law’s house who got married in March, had moved into a new home with her husband and their blended family. She had always wanted to host a family Christmas, but never had the room to do so. Everyone is having a great time even though there is no gift exchange. The entire family decided that getting together was the most important thing, and that no gifts were needed. In the last few years, this family’s Christmas gathering has gone from a full fledged present extravaganza, to name drawing for a single gift, to this year no gift exchange at all. We see the family attending a late night candlelight service, and then returning back to the house for a few more hours of socializing.

Finally, the family is at the father’s parent’s house. Together, they decided that gifts would only be exchanged between the three grandchildren. The family’s niece was excited beyond words as she opened two large boxes stuffed with babies, a play high chair, a play bouncy chair and countless other accessories that she had wanted. They were gently used toys that the daughter had outgrown, and through a phone call the niece’s mother had indicated that giving those toys would certainly be welcome and appreciated. As the kids played with their gifts, the adults had a great time catching up and playing cards.

As we return to the present, I think back at Christmas 2011 with a smile. My wife and I kept our gift giving to our kids and to each other in line with our budget, and almost completely eliminated gift giving outside our immediate family. We removed what had been for us the main contributor to stress of the holiday season. With our minds not focused on finding gifts for everyone, we were able to really relax and enjoy quality time loved ones.

I got everything I wanted for Christmas this year, how about you?

About Travis

6 Responses to “Did You Get What You Wanted for Christmas?”

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  1. Petunia 100 says:

    I got exactly what I wanted; a low-key day spent with some of my loved ones, with phone calls and text messages to those who were elsewhere.

    I never did get around to putting up a tree. We used a poinsettia instead. There was only one wrapped gift and two cards, so the “poinsettia tree” was just fine. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Sassy says:

    Love it!

  3. Brad Chaffee says:

    Sounds like your Christmas was really meaningful Travis! So glad to hear it man. We actually spent more this year than we normally do but had planned to. I wanted to find a nice camera for my daughter that wasn’t as expensive as a full blown DSLR but not as basic as a point and shoot so we spent about $200 on the cheapest deal we could find. She loved it and I hope it gives her the opportunity to learn it since she loves photography. Our last 3 Christmases were minimalist to say the least so we thought that we’d do a little more this year. Haha!

    We were also able to buy “gently used and new in the box” stuff at yard sales and auctions that made giving outside the immediate family fun. Everyone loved their gifts and of course I worked a little harder to provide some personal gifts I was able to make myself with my printing company.

    Though our Christmas was absolutely wonderful I couldn’t help but want it to be as simple as years past when we made a serious effort to downplay the gift part of Christmas. I’m thinking next year will be back to the basics because that’s when Christmas can be enjoyed for what it is instead of what it’s been turned into by consumerism. I definitely see what you’re saying about how it’s just more stressful when you have all that added pressure of buying gifts for everyone. On a good note though I gave $150 away to EOD readers and that was so much fun!! ๐Ÿ˜€

    Still though Christmas was Christmas and nothing could get in the way of what we were truly celebrating. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • It was very meaningful indeed, Brad! It sounds like even though you spent more than usual on gifts, it was planned…staying on budget is very important! Great to hear you had a great Christmas – looking forward to 2012 and a great year with TeamEOD!

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