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    Tuesday, November 27, 2007

    Christmas Is Coming

    Christmas is fast approaching and we have no money. Waaahhh!! Mr. Sign's car had to have all the belts replaced to the tune of $900. I got new tires that are an odd size so they cost over $500. Mr. Sign worked his magic and talked them down from $700. Daughter #2 had to have a flute for band. Another $300. She's also going on a field trip to Niagara Falls for $250. She is paying for some of these expenses with her own money that she earned working in the sign shop.

    Have I mentioned that we became property owners in the last month? We were able to purchase the land next to our house that at one time had a condemned home on it. I had to petition for years to get it torn down. (Remind me to write this story. I've said that I could pen an entire novel on the family that lived in this house.) Our fear was that the city would sell it to some builder who would put a tiny house on it. This wouldn't be a problem except that the property and our property share a driveway. So, the county took the property over and sold it to us (after many years). We are paying them monthly installments after our initial deposit. There goes an extra $400 a month more.

    Add to this the fact that Mr. Sign was transferred several months back to the metro Detroit area, an hour and a half drive one way. He's spending over $200 a week on gas.

    Are you getting the picture? We are broke! Not so broke that we can't buy groceries (good thing some of us eat less), but poor enough that Christmas is going to be super tight. I refuse to use credit cards. Our kids are old enough to know our finances are slim this year. And really, they don't need a thing.

    How Christmas become so gluttonous? It's not supposed to be about money, it's about spirit and family.

    My goal is to scan some old family pictures and make each family member a movie of their own. I think that's something more valuable than anything I could buy.


    lime said...

    man, i know the feeling. i think you have a terrific idea for christmas presents. hang in there.

    SignGurl said...

    Lime Thanks for that. I realize how whiny I sound. I'm really quite thankful we were able to afford all of the expenses that we have in the last month.

    ell said...

    as my mom always says, "better than a doctor bill!"

    i think people would appreciate movies that you made SO much more than something you'd pick up at the mall. so much more meaningful.

    Anonymous said...

    girl, them flutes are pretty damn expensive nowadays, eh?

    i so know how you feel about the money. my husband just switched jobs. he used to be a mortgage broker and well, he had to leave cuz it was getting so hard. so now he's in sales-100% commission. it's really rough sometimes. so our x-mas will be tight as well. i feel ya.

    your gift idea is awesome! go with that. and the meaning and love behind it will be with them forevah!

    Donna said...

    I think it's a great idea! I made hard cover books through mypublisher.com -- it was inexpensive and easy.

    I don't know if your family is into volunteering, but maybe this is the year you all could give what is priceless to others who have less? Just a thought.

    I've already started with teaching charity to Cassie. She understands that there are some kids who don't have toys, and right before her birthday we parted with some of her choosing and took them to Goodwill together. I don't think she understands the wide concept of charity, just knows "those kids have my toys cause they need them." It's kind of humbling when a 3 year old even remotely gets the most basic concept.

    buddha_girl said...

    I don't think having a slim Christmas is a bad thing.

    I went shopping this past weekend and had more than one person give me a weirdo look when I said, "I don't use credit. Ever." Too bad for them. You can't tempt me with 10% off my purchase. To hell with that.

    G-Man said...

    Does that tune ever sound familiar!!
    I also refuse to use credit cards..I hope the kids understand...xoxox

    SoCal Sal said...

    I feel ya sweetie. (or is that I wanna feel ya … LOL) We had to buy a new washing machine Friday. Jeez!!!

    wisdomstuff said...

    Um, I hate Christmas for exactly that reason.

    Crabby said...

    Thank you for this post and AMEN SISTAH! I agree. When did Christmas become all about buying until you're in debt up to your eyeballs? There's no magic anymore. Not when stores start pushing Christmas decorations and gifts before Halloween. It's sad.

    I'm doing the family photo thing this year too. And get ready, kid...it's a big job. Least here it sure is. I still have 2,000 or a little less old photos to scan and repair before I can even think about music and all that stuff.

    Sayyyy, how'd you get your You Tube ad up over there? I wish I had your brains. My life would be so much easier. (I'm not kidding)

    *S* said...

    Sounds like a great plan, Jenn. My other $8 holiday gift suggestion: one of those Rubbermaid wrapping paper organizers. They have both vertical and horizontal kinds and I've yet to meet a woman who doesn't want one.

    We're stretched so tight you can bounce quarters off of our budget - if I don't snatch them up mid-air.

    Lemme tell ya, 8 days of Chanukah gifts isn't so rosy either.. at least with Xmas you get it over in one or two days! :/


    Anonymous said...

    Christmas is about Love, family and giving. It's not what you give that counts it's what's in your heart.
    I'm sure you'll all do fine cause I know you already know that and practice it.:)

    jillie said...

    Hey I hear you on the skinny wallet this year! Whew! But I think that is a GREAT idea for the video/movie. How touching is that and creative.

    I made a photo calendar for my brother this year. Not only was it inexpensive, but it's also something to reflect on and to see ALL of the reasons we are so blessed.


    Manny said...

    Great idea jenn. Crab makes us movies every year too. I usually come home Christmas night and watch them over and over.

    Hey, some years you can and some years you can't. I wouldn't worry if I were you because you and your family make memories that are priceless. Gift's are great, but it's not so great watching your folks pay for them years and years later.


    Manny said...

    ps. I shared a secret with you on crab's blog.