Alas, the Christmas shopping season is now upon us, so I thought it would be prudent to address a serious problem plaguing Christmas shoppers everywhere: Temporary Christmas Insanity Syndrome (TCIS).
I recently read an article in a magazine (I get a lot of magazines for free, so I get all kinds of great stuff from them) describing one woman's struggle with that sort of temporary insanity that comes when we start our Christmas shopping. She was perilously close to spending $200 for a dollhouse that her daughter wanted, despite the fact that she wasn't even planning on buying it for her in the first place and it was WAY out of her budget. But her daughter just had to have it- it was her dream, her one and only Christmas wish! How could a mother deprive her? Well, luckily this woman came to her senses, and her daughter survived Christmas without the coveted gift. And actually, she not only survived, she had a very happy Christmas.
The article really made me reflect on times when I have been in similar situations- after all, it's relatively easy to deprive yourself of something you want, but your children? And there's something about Christmas- you want it to be magical for them, and you want them to feel nothing but joy. But is buying a truckload of gifts the way to accomplish that? And will one gift really make or break the holiday?
So after much thought and stern talking-tos with myself, I present the following as an antidote to TCIS:
My Declaration of Independence From Temporary Christmas Insanity
1. I will set a strict budget of $50 for each child, and the price of their gifts shall not exceed $50.
2. I will understand and remember that my children are too young to care about how much money I spend on them. The Dollar Store is my friend.
3. I will make Christmas more pleasant for them by NOT inundating them with tons of gifts. I will thoughtfully select a few quality toys that I know they will enjoy and appreciate.
4. I will recognize that my self-worth and my value as a friend is not based on the monetary value of the gifts I give to others, but on the way I serve them throughout the year.
4. I will emphasize the true meaning of Christmas, and both encourage and demonstrate acts of kindness for others.
5. I will set an example for my children by showing my love to them and others in ways that don't cost money- acts of service, heartfelt notes, and loving words.
6. Whenever I feel the need to spend an exorbitant amount of money, I will take a breath, step away from the situation, and re-read this Declaration.
I encourage all of you to write your own Declaration in preparation for Black Friday. If I knew how to do a Mr. Linky, I would put one in, but as I do not, I will instead invite you to leave a comment with a link to your Declaration.
Don't let TCIS claim another victim. Together, we can make a stand. ;-)