My Story & Thrifty Thoughts

Remembering days gone by when I was a kid at Christmas made me realize we were not extravagant and were raised to value other things than money.

12/10/20232 min read

My two brothers and I always looked forward to Christmas and knew that it would be great if Santa could find out house. In my home, my father liked to joke so he was always saying that Santa was not coming this year since he broke his leg. We never were quite sure if that was to prepare us for less presents or if he was serious.

In any case, our festivities were relatively simple. We had a tree which we got from the forest until later years when we supported the boy scouts who had tree lots on every corner. We decorated that with lights, a few nicer ornaments and ones we made followed by garland and icicles. Then came the Christmas stockings at the fireplace, large winter socks and a few Xmas red bells on the ceiling with more garland.

The night before Christmas, we went to a candlelight ceremony at the church and then right to bed to wait for the call from dad in the morning to come down to open gifts. He played Christmas carols on old records on our Hi Fi record player and we were all dressed in dressing gowns to open our stockings first.

We kids had a Japanese orange in the toe of the sock and one of those jumbo Christmas editions from Disney comics along with a few nuts to crack and some small kid puzzles or the like. Then gifts were opened, one at a time, and we each got to watch the other enjoy that moment. We kept the wrappings and ribbon and opened the gift carefully so that was possible. My mother took careful note so we could write thanks you letters later.

Then we played with our items for a while, had a brunch and then went out for a walk in the snow. Mom had a turkey and the trimmings in the oven and we all shared a meal together later, sometimes that would be at my grandparents home or my mother's sister's place which meant a nice drive before and after.

So none of it was particularly lavish or expensive, very simple really. Sometimes the gifts we kids gave to each other and our parents we had made and other times, we saved up our chore money to buy something small. It made us realize the value of things and we learned what earning it meant.

Maybe even though things are tough right now, we could go back to a simpler time when just being together and doing things as a family meant more than anything else. We do not need to make such a lavish event out of it. Then by sharing, we might learn what is more important, the being together and being thankful. I do believe it puts things in perspective.