Today is "Black Friday". Even when I loved to shop, I was never a big fan of "Black Friday". I mean, some people take their shopping waaaaay too seriously. It got so bad today that a Wal-Mart employee was actually killed in an early morning stampede. We really need to rethink our priorities, folks.
For the last 8 or 9 years, I have had most of my Christmas shopping already done before Thanksgiving. Of course, I would always pick up a few more things between Thanksgiving and Christmas, which wasn't at all good for the budget. For the last five years or so, I haven't even shopped in stores, preferring to do my shopping online. Talk about convenient! When I was working, I didn't have much time to get in to the city to shop, so it was easier to sit down at 11pm at the computer to order what I wanted. Of course, that could also wreak havoc on the budget.
This year, though, is different. The kids, Mr. Math Tutor, and I are making almost all of our gifts this year. We did purchase some gifts for the kids a good six weeks or so. I ordered my yarn 2 months ago, and am feverishly working to finish gifts. I took the kids to Hobby Lobby a week or so ago and we purchased what they needed to make gifts (some people on their list read my blog, so I won't give any more details than that!). Mr. Math Tutor is in the basement working with his scroll saw. I'm not sure what all he's up to since he won't let any of us in to "Santa's Workshop".
The real advantage to this is that we are all more focused on giving, and less focused on getting. And, we're having a great time! It's been just amazing to watch my kids sit around for hours at a time making presents. This was less a response to the overall economic situation and more a response to our own personal economics as well as a spiritual need to get away from materialism. And, it's working. We're having a blast this Christmas season!