My wife came home from a Christmas party last night and told me her friend said she spent two thousand dollars on Christmas gifts this year. “That is ridiculous!” I said. “What did you receive from her?”
The friend had given my wife twelve dry looking homemade cookies in a recycled plastic container. “Who got the remaining $1,999.55? ” I asked.
The maturing curmudgeon that I am, I am not really interesting in swapping gifts or at least not expensive junk manufactured in China that will be forgotten before their warranties wear off.
Those dry cookies and me not wanting to get too involved reminds me of a story.
When I was about twenty two, I had a job in Marin County as a caretaker for an old fellow named Ed who had Alzheimer’s. Basically my job was to make sure Ed didn’t get out bed and wander off in the middle of the night while his wife Mary was working her graveyard shift at the San Francisco Examiner newspaper.
One morning near Christmas time I was talking with Mary about Christmas shopping and it’s expense as she was shaving her husband’s whiskers. Ed was a frail old guy that could do almost nothing for himself and he almost said nothing for the entire few months I had been working there.
On this morning all of a sudden he joined the conversation with one of the funniest stories I could imagine. He said, “One time I was not wanting to buy gifts so I told them I was robbed as I was leaving the bank just after withdrawing all my money to by Christmas gifts”.
This story has been with me for thirty years and I still smile when I think about that old guy that
rarely said more than one word at a time coming up with that clever story. He didn’t need to buy gifts and also received their sympathy in one shot.
Old Ed may have been on to something. In the spirit of the season and Ed’s story I am thinking of ways to get out of spending much. Two things have come to mind in the way of having a cheep Christmas.
First maybe I am thinking we can pass out gift cards from the Dollar Store.
My wife was laid off from her place of employment five month ago and has been
very depressed about it. Last week she received great news that she has been rehired and she waisted no time spreading the good news about it. “Why in the hell didn’t you keep the news to yourself? I asked. “Now people are going to think you have money and will be expecting expensive gifts”. Too late for that one to work.
Do you have any ideas to help me out?