Growing up, we lived in a one-income household. I wouldn’t say we were poor, but we weren’t exactly middle class either. My step dad was a farmer and he and my mom did the best they could to make ends meet. I knew they didn’t have a lot of extra money laying around, so I never asked for much or often.
When Christmas came around, I knew what I was going to ask for had to be something that I really wanted and would use often but wasn’t too expensive. I would usually ask for one really expensive thing and then a few small things. The friends I had were the “rich kids”. One of my friends lived with her grandparents and got any and everything she ever wanted. Cost was no issue, so she always had the “latest and greatest”.
Anywho, having friends like that, I felt like I needed to “keep up with the Joneses”, so to speak. I remember asking for a CHI straightener in 6th grade, because that was THE flat iron back then! My mom, of course got it for me. The next year, I wanted a digital camera and Abercrombie & Fitch perfume. Again, my mom came through. Over and over again, my mom always got me those expensive things I’d ask for, even if she had to go without, which I’m sure she did.
I never understood how, um, stressful the holidays could be until I became a parent. Once I was a mother, all I could think was “how am I going to get her all the things I want to get her?”. As she, our oldest, gets older and we’re having more children I find myself wondering, “how will we afford to get them what they ask for?”, especially in this day and age of all things technology. I never knew just how much my parents sacrificed for us. You don’t realize these things when you’re a kid. You’re not supposed to.
As my husband and I are fretting over whether or not we’ll be able to afford things for our children, we know we probably won’t be able to get each other gifts. This isn’t a huge issue for me. If I didn’t get a single gift, I’d be fine. Truly. The reason being, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more of a minimalist and don’t actually want thing anymore. My husband on the other hand sacrifices so much for me and the kids throughout the year, all I want is for him to be able to receive all the gifts he deserves.
While we and our children know that the season isn’t about receiving or gifts at all, those things just make the holiday more magical.
My mom texted me today and a asked for ideas or a list of what I wanted. I genuinely could not come up with a single thing to tell her. I ended up telling her that I bottle of my favorite perfume would be fine, as I just ran out. Yeah, mom’s think that way. We make lists of what we need, rather than what we want. I asked Derek for a Keurig & the Kcups to go qith it this year, because soon we’ll have 2 small babies and I’ll NEED the caffeine and I’ll need it quick!
Not only has my “list” changed over the years, but so has my mind and heart. I don’t need things anymore to “fit in” or be like everyone else. I don’t need expensive gifts to let people know my husband loves me or that we can “afford” those things. I don’t need validation of any sorts anymore. I need for my family to be happy and enjoying life.
I’m so appreciative and grateful for all the things that I do have, I don’t have time to feel like I’m “missing out” on the things I don’t have. It sounds cliché, but I already have everything I need and could ever want. Sure, it would be nice to have “fancy” things. Boy, would I love to have everything in sephora! But, I don’t covet those things and I know they could never make me happy on their own.
We’re not rich and I’m not drenched in jewelry. Our house is small, but it’s ours. We have two (almost 3) beautiful, healthy, happy children. We own two vehicles. We have a loving marriage that compromises and understands. We have each other and families that love us. We have more than most could dream of.
I’m looking forward to this Christmas season. I look forward to seeing my kids opening their gifts. I look forward to sharing time with family we rarely see and sharing stories. I look forward to being surrounded by loved ones and sharing traditions, because some things change and some things never should.
How has your “list” changed? Whether you’re a parent or not, have the things you ask for changed as you’ve gotten older? Are you a giver or more of a receiver? What’s at the top . your list this year? Let me know in the comments below!
Stay tuned. I’ll be sharing our oldests’ wish list and her version of what Christmas is truly about this week.
P.s…have you done any of the things on my last post?