Hi there, Mrs. 1500 ranting today.
Last week, we took an epic car trip through four states to visit four different sets of people. I wrote earlier about how I didn’t really want to buy gifts or have gifts purchased for us, and of course this all fell on deaf ears. Our car was filled to the brim on the way home.
After I wrote that post, I started shopping, because I needed to get gifts. As much as I dislike the exchange, it is still rude to show up with nothing.
As I shopped for gifts, I tried to keep the recipient in mind, and I think I did fairly well. I was even beginning to enjoy the gift-giving thing again. On Christmas Day, we opened presents, and the kids had an absolute blast playing with their cousins and their gifts all day long. My sister, who had traveled across the country, had already told all the kids that she would be taking them to Target the next day to choose their gift. She didn’t have to bring five giant presents on the plane, the kids got to choose whatever they wanted, under $25, and everyone was happy.
The next day, I discovered that one of my relatives whipped out a calculator to make sure her kids spent their entire $25. I find this offensive on two different levels. First off, my sister wasn’t keeping track. If the kids had found something that cost $26, she was fine with it. But the spirit of the gift was “choose something you like,” not make sure you get every penny out of it. Her children chose something they liked, and she told them to get something else because they hadn’t spent all their money.
I am also depressed because this person is a product of the public education system and cannot do simple math*.
When I heard this, I lost all my gift-giving Christmas spirit enjoyment all over again. THIS is exactly what Christmas is NOT about.
Next year, we will spend the holidays in Hawaii with the Obamas**. I can’t wait!
*Mr. 1500 jumps in with a haiku:
Where is my calculator?
Addition is hard.
**We will be in Hawaii, and they spend Christmas there every year, too, so we will be in Hawaii with the Obamas. Not on the same island, and we probably won’t see them, but still, we will both be there at the same time…
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