Today's poll asks: Are you going into debt to pay for Christmas this year?
Feel free to post feedback about this poll below.
The older I get, the less I care about getting presents that I won't even remember by next Christmas. Going into debt for Christmas is simply anathema to me these days! For the past several years my husband and I have selected a boy and a girl to buy gifts for from one of the dozens of "Angel Trees" to be found in businesses all over our city.
These are hosted by charity organizations such as the Salvation Army. A Christmas tree is put up in a bank or some other sort of business, and decorated with paper ornaments in the shape of angels, bells, etc. Each ornament has the name of a child involved as a recipient of help from the charity, along with his/her age and what they may have wished for from Santa (such as a doll, toy car, warm coat, etc.) You bring your presents back to the business and they see that the charities get them in time for Christmas...usually for a party for the kids at the charity. Call the local charities in your town to find out if they do this sort of thing.
My husband and I have a lot of fun shopping for kids (we don't have any of our own) and knowing that the gifts we give WILL be appreciated even if they're not very expensive (we don't make a lot of money). Most charities ask that the gifts be given UNWRAPPED because there have been instances of sick nutcases putting something completely inappropriate in wrapped gift boxes. Creeps.
This year we also went to www.anysoldier.com in November and picked out a couple people and their military units, and sent them big boxes filled with books, snack goodies, and...believe it or not...personal hygiene products! (Our esteemed government apparently does NOT supply our military with sufficient amounts of the most basic of things like toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, and feminine hygiene products for the women in the military. Shameful.)
A lot of these military units also come into contact with local kids (in Iraq, Afganistan, etc.) who are usually dirt poor. We sent a box filled with inexpensive, new toys from a dollar store (crayons, coloring books, clay, that sort of thing) as well as children's books that focused on bright pictures instead of lots of text in English (which they can't read anyway). (We've been given to understand that clean, used toys such as small stuffed animals are also very much appreciated by these kids who literally have NOTHING! Also clean, used kids' clothes are welcomed by a lot of the local families the military unit sees from day to day.)
We spent about $100 on the contents of two big boxes, plus another $70 to ship them to Iraq via USPS Parcel Post. We ALL know how EASY it is to drop $170 on gifts that either will be tossed aside in a day or week or so, or worn once, and most likely COMPLETELY forgotten by the next Christmas! The two thank-you notes we received from the units after they got their boxes were worth MILLIONS of "warm fuzzies" to us!
www.anysoldier.com will give you complete info on how to get goodies to our troops and you'll also be able to read little profiles of those that have registered with the site. So many of our soldiers and sailors have no one to write to them from home...even a simple letter or card of appreciation for what they're going through over there is welcomed. But goodies are even better! You can get a lot of swell stuff into a flat-rate USPS Priority Mail box for less than $9 in postage!
No need to go into debt for Christmas! Make cookies, give a magazine subscription, choose gifts that will last and be remembered. It's the thought that counts...and if the recipient doesn't appreciate your gift, that's one less you'll need to buy next year, right?
MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!
I use to go in debt for presents until one day a spoiled wife and her husband came in where I worked. I kiddingly ask the wife if Santa was coming to seen her. Her husband spoke up and said, "Yeah, then he comes to see me the first of every month". I thought it was funny until I read his face. He didn't think it was. And I realized he was right. So I went home and called the three people I spent the most on and not one could remember what I had given them the year before. Now I bake goodies and Party Mix. They look forward to their gifts.
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