We ARE the Joneses!


…and someone out there is trying to keep up with me!  Ever think of that?  With my crooked, three foot “alpine”, and my never tidy house.  Startling, isn’t it?

The notion isn’t mine.  I read it tonight over on the recently discontinued blog, The Year of Less. The idea just resonates with me.

It seems like every Christmas, my gifting becomes less impressive.  I’ve got way more time than money right now, so gifting handmade seems like a no-brainer.  And frankly, I don’t want anybody to feel like they have to give ME or mine a gift that would tax them financially or otherwise.  If I’M the Joneses, then I want to help create a culture that takes the pressure out of giving.  Maybe somebody will judge us or think we’re just cheap, but have you ever noticed how gifts to those you’re the LEAST close to are the ones that tend to cause the most stress?  It’s always so easy and fun to give something to my mom or my husband, but dang, I need three teacher gifts, and how the heck am I going to give something that makes sense in my budget, but will still make up for last week when my preschooler pooped his pants in class?!  (After Christmas, I’ll post what I came up with…  It’s cute.  Maybe not cute enough to offset my son’s emissions, but cute, nonetheless.)  

I’m embarrassed to admit that last year and the year before, I stressed a little over what to give my kids… not because it had to be the perfect gift for my then two year old and newborn, but because I felt that, as a parent, I’d better have something that sounds really good when well meaning friends and acquaintances asked what Santa was bringing.  It seems so ridiculous, but i’m SURE I’m not the only one!  Good night!  If I’m the Joneses, I don’t want anybody to give to their kids with that in the back of their heads!  I’ll tell you what my kids are getting this year:  Plenty of grandparent fueled extravagancies I’ll have to find space for, and one big box of handmade puppets from “Santa’s workshop” to both of them.  I’ll probably put a few of the same practical (and not so practical) stuffers in their stockings as I did last year.  I’ve been collecting some vintage books at 50 cents a piece from the thrift store, so that’ll make it under the tree, too.  No big deal!  And it shouldn’t be! I think we’ll try to keep it simple as long as we can, because I know my kids better than any toy store, and I know that at this age, they don’t care how many or how fancy the toys are–as long as Marcus and I are on the floor ready to play, whatever they open!  

Also, while I’m being so revealing on this matter (something I’m sure to blush about after I hit publish.)  Let’s talk about the crooked, yet to be decorated, three foot tree in the picture above.  We have a 7 foot monstrosity we’ve opted to keep in our closet this year (mostly so we won’t find it toppled on top of our unruly 14 month old), but I can’t tell you what a relief it is to have so little EMPTY SPACE under the tree waiting for us to fill up!  If you’ve ever been tempted to go out and just buy STUFF so there would be more to unwrap Christmas morning–you should try some of this tree therapy!  I feel liberated!

So there you have it.  One more reason this year is shaping up to be our simplest Christmastime, yet.  And it’s good.  And it’s healthy.  And maybe it’s not the way we’ll do things every year, but this year, it just feels right.  🙂

Read more about this year’s Christmas adventures in my recent 4SP post, in which I explain my somewhat minimalist approach to an advent activity calendar.  And don’t forget to follow me on Pinterest!  Thanks guys!  You’re the best!


3 thoughts on “We ARE the Joneses!

  1. I was just talking to my husband about this! We have one daughter and last year we spent almost $400 on her for Christmas. She was super excited about every gift… and then played with them for about a day. Since then, she only plays with her blocks and cars. NONE of which we bought her last year. BUT, how cool was it that last year she told EVERYONE that she got a Ninetendo DSi XL and 6 games to go with it? And a pillow pet, and 4 new dolls… Aside from my daughter, we spent an additional (estimated) $1,000… So this year, I considered exactly what you said – homemade gifts. Unfortunately (:() between my full time job and Swag Bucks (also sometimes a full time job!!!) and just plain and simple time with family – I just don’t have time. So this year, my daughter is getting a CD player, a school T-Shirt, a couple CDs and probably 15 $1 gifts from Dollar Tree. And everyone else in my family? They will get one (Yes, ONE) gift from the Dollar Tree… The adults will get that gift with a note that says – “Want better presents next year? STOP HAVING KIDS!” 🙂

  2. Oh yes – LOVE the tree… we are currently (slowly) trying to paint our living room so I haven’t been able to put up our tree yet… a smaller tree is the perfect solution!

  3. Oh my goodness, Sarah! I just did the math, and if we were going with really a reasonable “conservative” budget, we’d be spending over 1,000 on Christmas for our family, not even counting any aunts, uncles, cousins, teachers, etc.! Thank goodness, we’re not being reasonable this year! LOL I’m just counting on everyone to forgive us, and hopefully even appreciate a bit of pressure being lifted! Let’s face it. My aunt Gladys, as loved as she is, probably isn’t dying to find out what her niece two states away will pick up at Target for her–even if she bought for me! She’ll just know she doesn’t have to next year!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s