Better Blogs and Christmas Cheer

I am not in a blogging mood.

I am more occupied with negotiating Christmas with my husband,
who apparently doesn’t want to buy our kids any sort of magical Christmas gift.
Can I say the man is imagination challenged
without spurring on my haters
to call me to repentance?
Do you know that the father of my children
let Santa’s cat out of the bag
three years ago?
Oh, Yes he did!!!
Our kids were 8,5, and 4.
And they now think the world of their daddy.
Because he is Santa and the tooth fairy.
But I am still struggling to forgive.
Because I believe in magic.
And Harry Potter.
But because of all the things I have been learning lately,
I will not Christmas shop until LG and I are on the same page.
Because that is what Dave Ramsey says.
And that is what the Bible says.
And who can argue with the Bible or Dave Ramsey?
And I have to say after reading the Bible just now
and hearing God’s admonition to reverence my husband,
I am feeling guilty about this whole post.
I guess I will have to repent.
Once I do I am sure that
our marriage will prevail.
One challenge at a time.
Even if everything seems to be a challenge lately.
I think Christmas should not be a challenge.
Who knew two people could be married
for 13 years
and never be on the same page?
This year if anything,
we will be on the same page.
And both of us will be happy with what is under the tree.
Even if it is only due to the generosity of others.
And hours of negotiation.
I’ve said it a million times before
but
2011
is gonna be our year.
Next Christmas will bring no negotiation.
And that will be LG’s best gift to me.
The fact that he cared enough to negotiate this one.
If that makes any sense.
From now on,
we will hopefully be on the same Christmas page.
Is that just wishful thinking?
The older I get, the more I think
that life is really just one negotiation after another.
T’was the night before Christmas
and all through our house,
no raised voice was heard,
because we’re espoused.
We negotiated until our hearts
were content.
And now the wife will not overspend
and have need to repent.
But, I will have to repent about the reverencing the man.
How can I reverence Santa Claus?
Huh? Huh?
He’s fictional.
I hope your kids don’t read this blog.
Or maybe they should.
Because then my husband will have some more
little people to reverence him.
He needs that.
Since he isn’t getting it from me.
Well anyhow.
I wanted to share some better blogs.
For my loyal readers
who I have just left totally confused.
But before I do.
Really, how do you married people
agree about Christmas?
Just curious.
Did you negotiate year 1
and never argue again?
Or do you still fight about it?
I love my husband.
A lot.
I want to be on the same page.
Even if his page is to pay the bills
and give the kids as little as possible.
And mine is to make Santa magical.
There has to be a good medium.
Do you ever even think about these things?
Are all other married couples like us.
I can remember my parents always fighting over Christmas.
Mom wanted to make it magical
and dad didn’t want to go into debt.
I wonder if this is the same story in every household?
So, on with the real fun.
My friends all have it figured out.
They don’t blog about their private business,
leaving their blogs actually entertaining.
Unlike mine.
There is good reason why I am not blogging right now.
Check out Cally’s homemade gift tags.
And Lori’s movie making skills.
And Erika’s honesty.
Jeremy’s love for an awesome father, who just passed on,
and made me have a greater desire not to fight over stupid stuff.
Gina’s photography.
Jennifer’s yummy food.
Rachel’s consistent gratitude, maturity, and resilience in the midst of battling childhood cancer.
There are definitely a lot better blogs out there.
But at least many of them belong to my friends.
I am off to make a spreadsheet for my husband.
Maybe it will help if I speak his language.
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18 comments

  1. I love you, Ali. Hang in there! Christmas should be a magical time for kids – Santa or no Santa – but that doesn't mean you have to spend a lot of money. We have never spent much on gifts (can't spend what you don't have!), but still have many wonderful Christmas memories. MERRY CHRISTMAS!
    Angel

  2. About 5 years go (so our kids were only 5,3,1) I heard this great tradition from a lady in Relief Society. Trevor and I liked it so much we immediately changed over and have loved Christmas even more. The idea is this: the wisemen brought Jesus 3 gifts so that's all our kids and us get from Santa/us. One gift is a book, one is a reasonable toy, one is clothes (shirt/pants or dress). Try it…I promise you'll like it. We've never spent more than $80 or $90 per person and shopping is done pretty quickly.

  3. I'm glad I'm not the only wife who can't seem to get on the same page as my husband. Thank you for an honest assessment on how hard this time of year can be.

  4. Rich and I sometimes struggle to be on the same Christmas page. To him, the budget trumps all. Which I appreciate most of the time but sometimes I just think it doesn't have to be the top priority. Not that I want to go into debt. This year we saved a little each month towards Christmas but it's still not enough. So. . .Santa will be quite practical this year with socks and toothbrushes but there will be a little magic. And I like that compromise. But, I think you should start shopping for your own sake so that you don't stress out and have more fights. Just start with the things you do agree on.

  5. Love the “speak his language” bit. πŸ™‚
    I'm with Angel, magical doesn't have to = expensive. Remind me to tell you sometime the story of my old seminary teacher's best Christmas ever (hint: the grinch stole it).

  6. Good for you for committing to your marraige above all else. A good marriage is one of the best presents we can give our children and on a side note I cant imagine a Christmas in the house of Alice not being filled with magic.

  7. I can't say much for Kyle and I yet, but I know that Momma always had a Christmas budget that she'd put money into all year. One of the first things I put into my monthly budget when we got married (after food, electricity and gas) was savings for Christmas (it's not a lot this year, but it's something).

    In reference to Santa, Amy Catherine a couple of weeks ago had a status that said “What do you do when your six year old asks if Santa is real?” I asked Kyle what he'd say if our kids did this and he said “I'd tell them, 'Of course he's real, who else would give you all those presents? I certainly don't love you that much.'” It made me laugh. πŸ™‚

    Eliza

  8. I thought marriage was all about NEVER being on the same page. πŸ˜‰

    Most of the time I give in and Tony does things his way… but I think we both believe in the magic of Christmas.

    This year we agreed to buy our gifts for our kids and others that are… Made in the USA. We will see how that pans out after the fact.

    I did find the grand-girls holiday dresses made in the USA and they arrived yesterday in Moapa and I am in Oregon… so I will have to wait to see them.

    Hugs to you Alice!

    Merry Christmas!

    ToOdLeS.

  9. Meagan just starts with the day after sales and buys stuff on sale all year long. She got Carson a $50 discontinued buzz lightyear for like $10 because they were upgrading to toy story 3 toys. Then we stick them in the closet all year long and then eventually pull them out and wrap them and put them under the tree. And by we or us I mean Meagan…That way our debt doesn't pile up at the end of the year, it's spread out.

  10. There's no santa???? I thought that Elder Uchtdorf's (SP)talk from the christmas devotional is right up this Ally.
    P.s. I didnt want to negotiate so I went to work so I can spend all the money I want.

  11. You can imagine what goes on in our house when spending money is involved. Enough said.

    Of all the people I know Alice, YOU seem to have the best gift for being resourceful and making any situation magical. Seriously — you can turn any event/get-together, etc. into something awesome because you are creative and put your heart into it. I wish I was more like you.

    Don't worry. I know that your faith and perseverance will pay off. You and LG will meet some middle ground and your girls will have a wonderful Christmas.

    Love you bunches!

  12. Alice, we are so much alike. Although my thinking took a turn one year when my hubby was out of work. I began to see that it was not about the gifts that the children would receive it was the spirit that I created through out the season. It is the traditional cookie baking on Christmas Eve, the books that we read that inspire us to be better, the letters we write to love ones. I do something similar to what Angela does…. my children get a book, a need and a want with in reason. Then we do a family Santa gift. Something that we play together all day on Christmas day.

    We have been married for 20 years and are only coming together near the same page. This is part of the challenge of marriage, finding the same page. We are just starting the Dave Ramsey's program and like hope that this is the year we can buckle down and get out of debt.

    Your blog is real, just as you are and to do something different would just be wrong. Keep being you! Since that is what I love about your blog.

  13. I really, really love your blogs. They make me smile. I agree with those that have said, any Christmas with Alice in it would have to be magical. Your girls are so blessed to have you as a mom! Love you!!

  14. So what you are telling me is that my marriage isn't the only one that includes lots of negotiation and leverage tactics? You made my morning telling me I am not alone.

    When we first got married we agreed on how much we would spend at Christmas and have stuck pretty dang close to it the past 10 years. We are fortunate (in this particular regard) to have a small family to buy for. 4 siblings and 2 sets of parents. That is it. No other extended family. Liam gets showered without a dime spent by us since he was born, though we do spend on him too. Christmas is straightforward for us, but the rest of the year… that is tricky business.

    Hang in there. You are very entertaining whether you think so or not.

    P.S. I love Eliza's comment. HA!

  15. Sometimes i think it's all about perspective. Almost the whole time i was reading your blog, i was thinking, “negotiate what?” I have learnt over the years that going into debt is NEVER worth it…they r toys and things that will lose their excitement at some point inthe relative near future…but that credit card with it's interest will still be there most likely. I also have learnt inthe past few years as our Christmas we always seemt o be inthe “how do we afford gifts” situation that kids are satisfied with a lot less than we adults think they will be. I told my kids they were only getting like two or three things this year for various reasons and told themt o mkae a list so i could pick which 2 or 3. I know they will also get s gifts from friends and family so they will be opening much more than two or three things anyway. Another lesson leanrt fromt hepast to me is that they usuallyonly end up playing with like 2 or 3 of their favrite things anyway. One year when Iman and Edy were 2 and 3 we were so poor that we just resloved to only get things fromthe dollar store and let metell you i don't understand it, but dollar store toys hold a certain excitedment for little kids. Now of course it all depends on the age of the kid, but trust me, tell the kids ahead of time a low ball figure of what to expect and they will never be disappointed. I never let me kids open presents from friends or mailed gifts from family whent hey arrive either, they have to wait until Christmas morning.

    For me i buy as i go (i've done much better this year than before) and doing a little bit at a time makes it much more manageable and is definitely an easier pill to swallow. I don't usually ask John…is that bad? I just am conservative and buy a little here and there. If i ask can i get this for them, there's always a reason to say no, but it's kinda like the whole “i can't afford to have kids” thing….some people try to financially prepare for children and i am of the mind that, you just do what the Lord tells you and it works out because you could never “afford” children. You just make it work. So i spend $10 here one week and $20 a couple weeks later etc. because you just make it work. I don't know if that makes any sense or not…..Usually towards the big day i show John what i've bought and we decide if there's anything last minute to get to balance things out among the 4 kids.

    On another note….i think by like age 8 or so children start to figure out the Santa thing and at that age if they ask questions they should be given straight answers. This year my 8 and 9 yr old asked me not if there was a Santa (see kids aren't stupid), but if i was Santa. I don't want to lie to them at this age, because i think you keep believing much longer than that and it can get embarrassing for the child. So i told them and my 8 yr old says, “i thought you were because of x,y, and z.” I asked if they were upset and they were like, “NO!” They thought it was the coolest idea in the world. They also now take pleasure in keeping it a secret from the 5 and 2 yr old. At some point they need to be told.

    And lastly (so sorry this turned out to be my blog instead of yours, ha ha) Christmas isn't about Santa or presents (well not the ones we think of anyway) You want magic? Create the right kind……;-)

  16. Alice, I love your blog. Every year on Christmas Eve, my hubby and I argue over money spent. (becauseThat is when I pull all the gifts out of thier hiding places to wrap). He always think I spend way too much. I, like you, want my kids to have magical Christmases!! It's the one time of year that I feel like I can buy what I want without feeling guilty. This year however, I don't think there will be much under the tree. I have not done one bit of shopping because i am too depressed over everytihg going on. The past few days I have realized that my kids will have a magical Christmas, even if it is not in the form of toys,candy and electronics. we don't even have a tree, but we will celebrate anyways. This may even be the best Christmas yet. Sometimes having nothing is the best thing.
    you are an inspiration to me, for real!! When you blog about your marriage I can always relate. marriage is hard, especially when money is tight.

  17. First of all, you crack me up! I love reading your blog just to see what's on your mind in the moment!! We just finished the Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University and it was awesome. Although we've always been good about budgeting, it made us think differently about money and how to spend it. I totally recommend the program for you and LG if it's ever out your way. It will help you to talk more and come together about money…I promise. When you go through the entire series, you will be able to see more eye to eye and talk about things with the same background and knowledge. So with that, we're having a cheap, inexpensive, magical Christmas!! Our budget this year is one of the lowest we've ever had. I have bought several things on craiglist and have refinished them or am giving as is. I'm not buying junk, but just honestly looking for the best deals. It's actually been pretty fun. We've also done the most service this christmas season that we've ever done and it's been a great way to lead into a simplified, humble Christmas day. I truly hope you and LG can work this out with GOOD feelings because there really are ways to work together and compromise. Just remember as parents, we WANT to give our kids the best, but we have to remember that the best isn't always expensive or big amounts of stuff. It's amazing how little you're kids can recieve and still be very happy little people…good luck Ali:)

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