to try a new tradition

It's Christmas time. Many peoples' favourite time of year. I enjoy it. I always have, I love presents. I enjoy a good sparkly gift. I like thinking about it, wrapping it, and presenting it.

It's been a bit tricky though. I expect people to set off fireworks when they open my presents. The two leading men in my life, my brother and my husband, can be absolutely ecstatic over a gift and they will say, "thank you, that was very considerate" with a straight face.

I want them to exclaim and jump up and down saying things like, "how did you know!?" "this is EXACTLY what I wanted!" "you are the BEST gift giver in the world!" "no one knows me like you do!"

Yeah, I know, I needed to curb my expectations a bit having introverts for gift-receivers.

My mom comes close to the aforementioned exclamations. The volume, length, and roundness of her WOW tells you where on the WOW scale you fall. If there is a pause before a WOW it's not a WOW it's a "wow, what the heck am I going to do with that". But if you've hit the mark it has multiple syllables, "Wooooo-Oooo-oow", and if it's really good, followed with multiple little "wows". ""Wooooo-Oooo-oow, wow wow wow".

That's the problem with us extroverts, we can't help it, we don't have a poker face. The introverts know this, if they graciously accept every gift you will never think you ever screwed up.

Anyway, this year is a bit different. The hubster and I are trying something a little different. We are working at living a bit more minimally (yes, we are millennials, how ever did you know??) and as part of that we are also working hard at living within a budget.

I hate budgets. I don't like being told what to do. Even if it's me telling me what to do. I'm a wee bit rebellious. I will do it begrudgingly, but the funny flip side of it is that I am a stickler for the limit. When there is an established limit on the present I stick to it, no matter what. Even if the perfect present is $10 over the projected limit I just can't bring myself to do it. It's unfair to the people in the gift-giving. You can judge me all you want, that's just how I feel.

So, the hubster and I, within a budget and living minimally, chose to only do stockings this year for each other. The limit was $100 (not including taxes, because c'mon, it's Canada and that's a tenth of the stinking budget!).

Photo Courtesy of Louis at Unsplash

I made my list, checked it twice, used a gift card I got for my birthday for an item. When I was packing it all in the other night I counted up the costs, and I got a bit giddy. I was so impressed with myself, like I'd solved the world's hardest math problem. I set it all out and totalled it, and just for fun I totalled it again as I put it back in. It was a high! I came in right on budget. The perfectionist in me was joyful and triumphant. I was so excited that without even experiencing it this year I asked if this could be our new tradition.

I also expect him to be as over the moon that I stuck to the budget as he is with his stocking stuffers. I'll probably hear "thank you, that was very considerate"... is it too much to request a marching band that makes a song that says: these trinkets are everything I've ever wanted and you were on budget! I think it would catch on, a bigger hit than "All I Want for Christmas is You". Look out Mariah Carey, here comes my marching band singing about my stocking stuffer abilities.

Merry Christmas.

That's all.


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