However, the article leads with a story about a mother in North Carolina who is leaving a note under the Christmas tree for her 8 and 10 year old sons. The note is going to say "I couldn't get by your house last night. Your mom is going to take you to the store when she can." This irks me.
For starters, if Santa couldn't "get by their house last night", how did he leave a note? Really, North Carolina Mom?! You don't think 8 and 10 year old kids will see through that? You'll have two very miserable kids who, I'm quite sure, will put this Christmas down as the worst ever.
If you're holding off on Christmas, then why bother with the tree? It seems particularly cruel the kids will go to bed with a fully decorated tree expecting what kids expect on Christmas Eve only to wake up to nothing but a poorly worded note under the tree in the morning. I hope you're not planning on hanging the stockings and not filling them.
Least people think I'm insensitive because the economy is bad, you're broke and you had to take two weeks off without pay this year when your son was sick, I'll say that around July or August, when you're economic situation was probably not much different than it is now, you should have thought about Christmas.
There's no way you can come up with something to wrap and put under the tree for them? I can give you lots of ideas that won't cost much.
You can still give your kids Christmas magic without spending a lot of money. Sure, you have to plan ahead. Thrifty people have been doing it for years. There's no excuse to get to 10 days before Christmas and decide your young kids are just going to have to suck it up and wait. That's sad.
Really, if you can scrape together ten or twenty bucks, I bet you could still pull it off. Here's how.
- Go to Goodwill or another local thrift store.
- Buy an age appropriate toy for each child.
- Buy like-new shirts or other articles of clothing your children need.
- Go to a used book store or your local library book sale (some have an on-going one).
- Buy a couple of books for each child. If your boys are avid readers, you won't have a problem finding titles they'll enjoy. If not, go for non-fiction books about things like snakes, volcanoes, pirates, knights or any number of other boy-friendly topics.
- Go to Walmart and get them each a cookie baking mix. They cost around $1.00 at my local Walmart. Kids this age love to cook and will like baking cookies with their mom on Christmas day.
If you don't have the money for wrapping paper, use newspaper or brown paper bags. Most stores still give those out instead of plastic, if asked.
You can do this! Empower yourself to get it done for your kids. Please don't ruin their Christmas.
Shop those after Christmas sales if you want to. But, put the toys and games away for NEXT Christmas so you're not in this same position again. Check out garage sales over the summer for other things you think they might like.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with giving second-hand items as gifts. Your kids will appreciate that more than a fake note under the tree saying Santa just couldn't get to them this year.
I've given garage sale and consignment sale toys to my kids as Christmas and birthday gifts. I've got some books in the closet right now that are intended for my 3-year-old son that came from the fall consignment sale. And, I have two bathrobes, one for my middle son and one for my youngest, that were in a bag of clothes someone gave us last year. Yes, they're getting them for Christmas. I've planned ahead and bought Lego kits and a few other toys for them as well, but if I knew I was going to be absolutely broke, I'd find a way to make it work anyway. You can, too!