I haven’t liked the holidays since I was a kid!

Holiday season is upon us. Gerrrr…

Call me Scrooge all you want, but I haven’t been in the holiday spirit since I was a kid and on the receiving end of everyone’s holiday gifts. I know, it is sad. But once I was old enough to live on my own and had to purchase gifts for everyone on my list and visit with everyone so no one would have their feelings hurt, I realized it was all a load of crap. Just the amount of time and money spent to make the majority of your family feel loved is nuts. I mean seriously? If I spent that time/money on you through out the year, wouldn’t that have more meaning? I am not so superficial that I think one must spend money on you to show how much they care, but we are talking about the holidays – you know the 3 months at the end of the year when most Americans spend the most money. FYI – Americans spend $42.3 Billion dollars from Nov.1 – Dec. 31st of 2012 per comscore.com.

So my distaste for the holiday season started about 10 years ago. I was living on my own making $10 an hour and I had about $200 to spend for Christmas. Being the frugal person I am, I knew I had about this much to spend heading into October. When the Halloween decorations came out right after back to school stuff was taken down, I knew to start planing then.  But, by mid-November I knew I wasn’t going to be able to purchase gifts, instead I had to make them. And so that year everyone got a fleece blanket from yours truly. I felt so ashamed because they weren’t that well made and I wasn’t able to buy my family members nice things. I vowed to do better next year. But as the years have gone on I have become disillusioned with the whole idea of Hallmark Holidays, as some people call them. Each year it gets worse. I cringe when I see Halloween stuff of display as early as August because I know I am about to be inundated with Thanksgiving and Christmas crap.

At my house the holidays pass with out much fan-fare. We do have a tree that we put up, but that is only because I think it looks pretty in hour living room. My boys and Husband do get gifts, and I do purchase myself something for them to give me (oh the joys of being a mother in a house full of boys). However, our gifts aren’t extravagant. Mostly needed items with one or two “wishes”.  I am sure my kids think they are getting the bad end of the deal, but I don’t see it that way. We enjoy our time with family and all the food. We have such a blended household that it seems like Thanksgiving takes 2 or 3 days, and Christmas can take almost two full weeks!

I would really like to get back to the basics when it comes to Holidays. Gather around for Thanksgiving and eat until you can not move. Spend time with family and watch some football, if that is what you want to do. Pick a house to visit, do the deed and then head home with way too many left overs. As for Christmas, if you are religious then go all out and do your thing. If you aren’t religious, like my house is, skip the whole darn thing. Christmas is for Christ, not greedy hands. Enjoy the day or two off from work, visit with family if you can, or just relax. Stop making it about how much you spend.

No wonder the youth are they way they are. No one loves them unless the buy them something.

Bah humbug!


Exit soap box – left

My next 30 years…

So my Dirty-30 birthday is fast approaching. Yeah, I am totally thrilled…. let me just tell you.

After spending a fantastic week on the beach for my bestie’s 30th I started to do a little life-reflecting. I started asking myself questions like, am I where I wanted to be at this point in life? As always the answer is, I dunno. I have asked myself where am I headed, and I dunno that either! Of course the usual stuff comes to mind, like I want my kids to grow up and be functional adults. I want my husband’s business to succeed. I am sure I will be dedicated to those two tasks for the next several years. However, I have no direction outside of that. You see, these I dunno answers aren’t new to me. That is because I really had no plans past getting to the age of 21. And even though I ask myself every year if I am where I wanted to be, I still give no thought as to what the future has in store for me. In fact I try not to make any plans past the coming weekend. I sound like I really have it together, don’t I?

I want to change this little fact about myself, starting now! In order to do this I feel that I should first make sure I have come to terms with my past and have a clear vision of where I have been.

So, to make sure I have a good grasp on my past I list what I see as milestones in my frist 29 years. I will start at the age of 18 since that is when life really starts to come at you fast. Plus learning to walk, talk and all that jazz is pretty standard.

  • Graduated High School – wasn’t sure that would actually happen at one point.
  • Graduated College – the first in my family to do so.
  • Moved out on my own – at the age of 20 and I haven’t had to move back in so far!!!
  • Turned 21 – I really didn’t drink but a handful of times before I become of age. Promise.
  • Purchased first motorcycle at age 24.
  • 7/7/08 – Tyler Diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.
  • Married at age 25
  • Purchased first house at age 26.
  • Helped Husband start his first business at age 27.
  • Promoted to Manager at my day job at age 27.
  • Quit day job to work with Huband less-than-full time at age 29.
  • Took my first international trip at age 29.

Not too shabby, considering! Ok, so now I know that I have been sucesful this past decade by accomplishing goals I set as a child. Being the first in my family to graduate college was a goal of mine since middle school. Obviously in my formative years I was capable of making decision for my future. Why can’t I do that now? Why were buying a house and starting a business not part of a plan? Well, now that I think about it, those might have been “on a whim” ideas but they did require plotting and planning. We saved for about six months to buy our house. Starting a business never happens over night. My husband did act on his idea almost immediately, we did have to plan certain things out. We had to rearrange quite a bit to make that happen and are still doing so two years later.

See I knew this list idea would help me! I know now that I do actually plan things out. So maybe my problem is that I just don’t have a life plan. But since I am in the listing mood, how about I still start my “Next 30 Years” list. I don’t want to call it a bucket list because that makes me feel like I am giving in to the fact that we all die at some point. I am still too young to worry about death, even though I know it is inevitable. Next 30 Years sound less grim. So here goes nothing.

My Next 30 Years – TO DO

  • Visit all note-worthy dance halls and honkey tonks in Texas. Maybe even a few less note-worthy joints too.
  • Go to see at least one concert on the last leg of George Strait’s final tour.
  • Visit Australia
  • Take my boys to see:
    • The Grand Canyon
    • Snow in Montana
    • The Ocean
  • Watch my boys grown into men – and hopefully graduate high school and maybe college (and Mom always has hope)
  • Go parasailing
  • Watch the sun set and see the green flash at sunset
  • Visit something related to Pricness Diana
  • MEET GEORGE STRAIT – there goes that hope again 😉
  • Have my youngest son give me away at my wedding
  • See a real cure for Diabetes

I think this is a good start! How about you, do you have a “bucket list”?