A Grown Up Christmas List

by Ginger on December 8, 2011

in Becoming Myself

Today, we made a very grown up decision about Christmas, and gifts, and finances.

Instead of buying each other a bunch of gifts with money we don’t really have to spare right now, we’re going to get each other phone upgrades…something that is a combination of need and want, and about all that our finances really should allow (no, we’re not going to get the 4s. Our budget won’t allow for that upgrade).

And while it’s a grown up decision, and it’s still an AWESOME thing to have (I know! Trust me, I know!), and it’s the RIGHT grown up decision, it still kinda hurts that little kid inside of me who thrills at the idea of a pile of gifts under the tree, and the grown up me who still does have a wish list.

Trust me, I understand how incredibly spoiled and selfish this sounds. WAH, poor me, just getting a new smart phone for Christmas, and not any of the OTHER stuff I want. Dudes, I KNOW. I’m cringing AT MYSELF.

But still. Sometimes it’s these sorts of moments that really reinforce the idea that, whoa! we’re grown ups. It’s absolutely more important to me to be able to get Jackson some gifts, and my family. It’s absolutely more important that we’re able to pay bills without stressing about the money. It’s absolutely more important that we have the money to do THINGS as a family than to have gifts under the tree from my husband to me. But it’s such a grown up line of thought–in order to get those things over there, we’re sacrificing this thing over here. However small and inconsequential it may be. However selfish it may be.

This is one of those things that makes me annoyed at myself–I know how selfish this all sounds, I know how whiny this all sounds, and I KNOW how lucky we are that we even have the kind of budget that allows this kind of indulgence ( I KNOW!). But I also know that I’m allowed to be the grown up and make the grown up decisions…and still be a little disappointed that my wishlist will remain full of wishes.

Being a grown up sucks sometimes is what I’m saying.

San December 8, 2011 at 10:23 am

Selfish or not – I know exactly where you are coming from. I’m the biggest advocate of “Christmas is not about the gifts” – and it truly isn’t, family time is much much more important – BUT I love giving gifts and I love receiving them. It’s part of the magic of Christmas.

When my husband proposed to not buy each other gifts this year, I was like “whhhaaaattt? Not even a little one?”….

I get it.

Megan December 8, 2011 at 10:53 am

Chris and I do stuff like this a lot for Xmas and birthdays, and while I too an grateful to be able to pay all the bills and have outings with my family, I think it’s perfectly normal for the kid in us to mourn the pile of gifts we won’t get to open. Silly? Yes. But it’s a real disappointment. As long as we realize how lucky we are, no one can accuse us of being jerks for wanting to tear some wrapping paper open!

shasta December 8, 2011 at 11:10 am

You know you’re a grown-up when all you want for Christmas is more gifts for your kid. =)

Erin December 8, 2011 at 11:25 am

I totally get it. Christmas kind of blows as an adult, as far as being the recipient is concerned. Hahahah…. My husband and I like to get each other lots of little cheap things so it feels like you’re being heaped with gifts, when really you just got a coffee mug and a tube of hand cream. It still feels nice, though. 🙂

Jen December 8, 2011 at 12:20 pm

We’re doing something similar this year, too. Basically, we’re making an IOU to each other to buy a new bed early next year when some bonus money is expected. We’re using the same sad mattress we’ve used since we first moved in with each other, 11.5 years ago. It’s time. And it feels so grown-up, making the decision to spend money on something so practical.

Reading (and chickens) December 8, 2011 at 3:27 pm

Gregg and I don’t give each other Christmas gifts either. We do splurge on one thing in the stocking that we like but wouldn’t buy for ourselves (like smartwool socks for me, or fancy handcream for him) (my husband is a handcream SNOB). It’s small, but at least that way it feels like we’re “getting” something. But yes, I would rather have a pile of gifts, too.

Tara December 8, 2011 at 5:25 pm

I totally had a Being a Grown-up Sucks kind of day. I get it, completely.

Tara December 8, 2011 at 7:17 pm

I think it’s absolutely o.k. to feel this way. Two years into this whole parenthood thing, seven years into marriage, and I still have a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that I’m the adult in this situation. I don’t feel any different than I used to (although my back/knees/hips might disagree with that statement), but I have to be the one making the big decisions now. Which can be hard.

Thank goodness I’m also allowed to choose pizza and cupcakes for breakfast, otherwise this whole adulthood thing would suck.

Kim December 9, 2011 at 9:27 am

Clearly, from all these comments, you see you’re not alone. I lost my job last November so last Christmas SUCKED. We don’t have kids, so that wasn’t an issue, but we had no money to buy each other gifts. Instead of not having anything to open but packets of Kool-Aid & Nikes, we spent a tiny bit of money & bought each other things like an iPod adapter for my car, a bag of beef jerky for the car ride from TN to MD, a lapdesk for my MacBook, etc. The $50-ish we spent was well worth the impending double suicide we would have otherwise faced. Buy your man some jerky & a used record of a band he used to like when you were dating. It goes a surprisingly long way.

Elizabeth December 10, 2011 at 8:14 pm

Making adult decisions can really stink. We made the decision to live at his parents, albeit in a very comfortable situation, so we’ve been allowing ourselves to splurge in other ways. Eric often doesn’t *remember* to buy Christmas gifts, but that’s a story for another day. Anyway, I still don’t like going over the top on giving, so we limit everything and save up for trips and things we both want.

There’s still never going to be anything like a pile from Santa!

KT December 21, 2011 at 10:51 am

Yeah, the Bahamas was more expensive than we planned (yes, I know first world problem) so we are foregoing gifts for my birthday (two weeks ago) and Christmas. I’m okay with it. We have surgery bills that have started to show up at our house too….

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