Christmas is my favorite holiday, but I am a realist and can admit that it’s also the biggest pain in the butt of all the holidays.
However, we brought it on ourselves with the “gimme, gimme, GIMME” mentality. Again with the realism, it’s too late to go back now so I’m here to help you get through it…Ditto for dealing with those pesky little skeptics (the kids) and the Family….
‘Cuz I’m a giver….
Ok, I know money is tight, (like always) so first lets focus on ways to cut expenses without seeming like a cheapskate….
How to play Santa without breaking the bank
1. You can make gifts, but only and I stress ONLY if you’re actually crafty. Like Martha effing Stewart crafty. Making a sock bunny out of a dirty gym sock you found laying on the floor is not going to cut it. If you have a skill you’re good at, homemade gifts are nice. For adults. If you’re shopping for kids, forget it….Take out a small loan.
2. Make a budget. A realistic one…Seriously, be honest. If you make $2000 a month and your bills are $1500 a month, you can’t spend $500 bucks on each of your 7 children, plus parents, 9 brothers and sisters, 46 cousins and 8 Grandparents. And the mailman. Not going to work….You can spend like $20. It’s just stuff, it ain’t worth going into the poor house over…
3. Instead of buying for everyone in the family, think about drawing names or having a Chinese Christmas. Now, beware….some family members may be competitive with this game, and there’s always one jackass who refuses to give up the really good gift she got (ok, its me…shut up) so have the water hose ready, it’s pretty effective for breaking up fights…
4. Take a vacaction during the Holiday. You’ll have fun and you won’t be around to hand out gifts to all the greedy little family members. Bring them back a cheap made in Taiwan souvenier….
5. Make a calendar with pictures of yourself and tell them “this year I’m giving you the gift of ME!” Snapfish has calendars starting at like $10 bucks…Don’t forget to highlight your own Birthday in bold colors on there….
Next, lets tackle the issue of Santa Claus himself…The kids lack of belief concerns me.
How to prove to the kids there really is a Santa Claus
1. When asked how one fat guy can deliver gifts to every kid in the world all on one night: Magic.
2. When asked how the short guys in pointy shoes make all those toys: Magic.
3. When asked how the heck those reindeer fly: Magic.
4. When asked how the fat guy gets in the houses without chimneys: Magic.
5. When asked how come the fat guy can eat all those cookies without getting a tummy ache: Mylanta. And Magic.
Now for the really tough issue, dealing with the In-Laws….
How to spend Christmas with the Family and avoid jail time.
1. *Cough, cough* *sniffle, sniffle* (try to work up some phlegm, it makes a more convincing sound). Wussed out by playing sick last year?? Then you’re screwed….Suck it up.
2. Drink. Heavily….unless you’re a mean drunk and then lay off the booze til after everyone’s gone.
3. Wear discreet earplugs. Can’t find any? Then wear a beanie and use the industrial sized plugs like construction workers wear.
4. If the issue is an uptight Mother-in-law, perhaps spiking the punch would be in order. Loosen the old bat right up….
5. Avoid the following subjects of conversation: Politics. Sports. Movies. TV shows. The economy. The kids. Anyones weight. Spouses or lack thereof. Work. The good old Days. Aunt Edna’s wig. Bra sizes. Strippers. Drugs. Booze. Pets. Pet hair. School. Money. The money you owe Uncle Bob from 1987. Race. Creed. Color. The Constitution. Foreigners. Illegal Aliens. Aliens from other planets. Fruit Cake.
And even these handy guidelines may not be enough so have bail money handy…
Let the friggin Holidays begin!