Money Savers: Christmas

Special Christmas Gift

I recently read somewhere that a woman felt her family would understand if their presents this year had to come from Walmart. Wait! You can afford Walmart and you think your family would look down on you for that? I aspire to be able to afford Walmart! Darn, woman! What the heck?!!!

So, here I am, facing another Christmas as the poor. No. I am not living on the street poor, but some days it’s quite close. How could I possibly afford presents enough for my four children from Walmart? Even if I was able to afford a measly $10 each, that would add up to $40 ($50 if you include me, and I guarantee they would notice if Santa brought mama nothing!)

And what can you buy for just $10, anyway? Not much! A Summer shirt or two on clearance, if they still have the right size; a mug with cocoa; a small bit of make-up? Seriously, people! This is not going to make my children’s Christmas; nor even begin to fill their stockings!

So, what to do? I learned a long time ago that it’s not just the thought that counts, but the time, effort, and good hard work put into the gift. One of my most favorite gifts, as a child, was a doll playpen and changing table. My grandfather had already made all of his granddaughters a cradle, so I had no need of one of those. I loved that playpen and changing table so much! My mom had gotten it second hand and spruced it up with a fresh coat of paint. In fact, it still resides in my attic, after my kids outgrew it; awaiting someday grandchildren. My children loved it as much as I did. Was it brand new? Absolutely not! Did that keep me from enjoying many hours of imaginative play with it? Negative again!

These days, child #2 loves to paint and be creative. She has painted many a statue, ornament, birdhouse, picture, and many other things. It is always a joy to receive one of her masterpieces. Child #3, one year many years ago (before all of her mental illness was set in stone by her father) wrote lovely things about each of us, tailoring them to everyone’s personalities. I think it was one of my favorite gifts! Those are just a couple of examples, but there are many more.

Why not iron on a special patch on a new sweatshirt, or pair of jeans? Every time they put them on, they’ll remember you! Or, how about painting a piece of furniture someone’s favorite color as a gift? There are many deals to be found a second-hand shops. I have found some great deals at local resale shops. In fact, child #2 just purchased a brand-new, 7-foot, Christmas tree for $20. What a steal!

I have continually found brand-new items at resale shops, with tags still on said items. I feel no remorse at using those items for gifts. In fact, my family knows that, though my gifts may not be brand new, they are still wonderful and full of purpose yet! It just takes a little imagination. Happy hunting!

Published by Rita

I am a single mother, a Christian, a writer, an abuse survivor, a reader, and a friend. I've wanted to be a writer my entire life and now here I am!

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