I know it’s taboo to talk about money, but after writing about our simple, somewhat minimal Christmas, I was curious. How much do we actually spend?
It all started when my son, completely out of nowhere, said, “I want a Santa hat.” I felt a twinge of guilt because I didn’t want to buy him the cheaply-made-in-China variety. So instead I spent $30 on yarn and delegated the project to my mom!
Then we discovered our lights for the arbor were completely burned out. So we “needed” to replace them and splurged for the $30 energy saving LED option; much more expensive, but said to last up to 15 years. (Skeptical.) We recycled the old lights, but now I’m feeling like we could have (should have) tried to fix them.
We spent $176 on the boys’ gifts (two Lego sets and two Bruder trucks). My younger son confirmed my belief that the number of gifts doesn’t change the level of excitement when he hopped into the kitchen and said, “Mom, I just love you! And I can’t wait for Christmas. I’m so excited for my present!”
Our Christmas tree was a whopping $56, but the enjoyment we got out of hunting for it, and most of all decorating it, was priceless. These are truly magical, treasured times. (Plus $7 for the egg nog we drank on the tailgate at the farm).
I buy my boys a new ornament every December (animal theme for the eldest and moon theme for the youngest). This year I got them on our road trip in Arizona ($15 and $19). Their collection is slowly expanding, which is the opposite of minimal, but this is one area that’s exempt. I adored my ornaments as a kid, and still have many of them on our tree today. I want our kids to have the same fond memories.
A week into December, our running total stands at $333. For being so “minimal” and simple (or at least thinking we are), the number’s sure climbing.
Thank goodness for free, amazing events like the Lighted Boat Parade, which enchanted us with, well, lighted boats, and led us from the harbor to the ocean, where we had the entire beach to ourselves. We played chase and “monster” and cuddled up on the sand in the dark, near the crashing surf and the lighthouse, which was also adorned in Christmas lights.
Christmas $pending, Part 2: to be continued next week…