Friday, December 19, 2014

Being Present is a Present

Drab gray skies blanked Madison today, but I set off with a spring in my step as soon as our oldest was settled into his kindergarten class, my husband was handling preschool drop-off for our youngest.  Downtown was my first step, taking care of minor financial related matters (it is property tax time).  Then to an adorable little street locals know as Monroe Street.  My mission -- securing a snow globe for our oldest.

Apparently there has been a run on snow globes locally, but Orange Tree Imports confirmed that they still had several in stock, setting one aside for me.  While there I picked up a few more fun things for stockings and under the tree, plus a few items to share with loved ones we'll visit on the road trip I mentioned yesterday.

Yes, this morning was not within my normal pattern.  I shopped, and I shopped for things that we do not need necessarily.  Why?  Having children ages 6 and 4, they are all about Christmas, and I want them to feel a bit of that magical joy broadcast by media and reinforced by peers.  But, I did not go crazy.  They will not round the hallway on December 25th to heaps of packages.  They will likely go through the gifts quickly compared to many American peers.  But there will be one gift that they may not full realize until they are adults themselves, the gift of being present.

By not going nuts this time of year, throwing reason and common sense to the wind, neither of their parents will be mentally focused on a looming credit card bill that will arrive in January.  No, we do not finance our joy.  Keeping the holidays modest also means we can enjoy time off from work, time that is not paid (we are both self-employed), and play with the kids.  Our meal will be breakfast/brunch foods.  Easy to prepare, not overly costly, and not tethering mom to the stove.  No, once they get through the wrapping paper on December 25th I plan to assemble puzzles, cut out paper dolls and build the Lego Arctic Explorer Base.  Mom will be present, focused on them and the moments that are sliding through the hour glass of life.  And that is the upside of choosing a frugal path in life.

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