I know, I know. I don't want to hear it.
I had to stop after putting the stockings in their box and making sure WH's was on top for easy retrieval when he packs his things.
Suddenly it dawned on me that no one would be filling my stocking next Christmas. WH always did that. I can't expect my kids to do it.
It makes me so horribly sad. I'm hiding in my room right now so the kids don't see me crying.
I also made WH a beautiful stocking - I made one for all of us. I'm not giving it to him. He doesn't deserve it. He can take the one his mother made for him. She made me one too. All the kids have one. We usually hang hers over the fireplace and Santa fills those. (My kids are all teenagers. I don't care. It's Santa dang it!) the ones I made get hung on the staircase and they all know I put a little something special in there from me.
Then I start thinking about the budget for next year for gifts, which won't be much. I think about having to ask my parents if we can not exchange gifts next year so that I can give more to the kids.
It makes me so sad. I love to give gifts.
I just decided in this moment that I'm going to start working on something handmade for my family members that like that sort of thing.
It certainly is hard to look back at mementos that were part of pre-DDay life--but you will still have beautiful Christmases. And I bet your homemade presents will be the envy of everyone.
If stockings are important to you - make a priority.
One year when I was growing up we exchanged names for stockings and set a $20 price limit. It is amazing what you can do with a little bit of money when you are just concentrating on one person and their likes (ie lottery tickets, lip balm, etc).
The first few years I did not even put my stocking up (just the kids) because it was too depressing. I am fine now. Like others said, even my little one will sometimes make something and put it in there.
Good news is you are thinking about this now (well....even if you are putting it all away ) This gives you a lot of time to think of what you would like to do next year, etc.
RE: Budget - I did a Christmas Club account.....big help.
Lead by example. In other words. Say hey I fill yours, and now you fill mine, and when you have a family it will be your responsibility to make sure that your wife's is taken care of too.
It sucks and is painful to deal with all of that, but it is also a chance to teach your children how not to be.
They are old enough to have input. They are old enough for me to explain to them budget concerns and work within the given parameters.
Who knows...maybe my children will vote to DO something together vs giving each other THINGS with our budget. That might be a fun option too.
Back when I still had some money of my own and my husband and I stopped exchanging I filled my own stocking. I had slipper socks, lotion, body spray. It was great! The kids loved the fact that Santa brought me something. I have no money now so I can't do that anymore.
I have one idea for when I'm divorced (hopefully). I plan on buying gift cards to use to purchase gifts for the kids. I figure the money will be safe in the cards and I'll have them when I need them. A $25/$50 gift card here or there throughout the year will add up.
My family loves my desserts. So, one year I made my mom and sister their own apple pie. They thought it was the best gift ever and it made me feel good to be able to give them something.
I hope some of these ideas helps you.
This past Christmas was very hard, money wise, and thankfully my kids were very understanding. And it made me realize, it isn't about the money or the gifts, its about spending time together.
Still struggling with the finances, but I plan to use a Walmart gift card and throughout the year, add funds to it so that come November, I will have a good amount of money on it to help out with Christmas. Tucking a little away every week might be helpful to you too, $5.00 here and there will add up after 7 or 8 months
Hang in there
PS My tree only came down 3 weeks ago!!!!
Do you want me to tell you something really subversive? Love is everything it's cracked up to be. That's why people are so cynical about it.