J is back from Montana (after a harrowing threat of being stuck there and then having to fly halfway around the damn country to get here--one would think that it wouldn't be so damn hard to get home from somewhere so close to here), not that I am enjoying his company. Dude's working late AGAIN.
I was talking to this woman I know about the upcoming holidays and how crazy they can be. And I know that being Jewish means that Christmas is a whole hell of a lot less stressful than for those who celebrate it and since my family is small Thanksgiving is actually relaxing (especially since my mother actually likes cooking the meal!). But she told me that she spends about ten thousand dollars on Christmas.
TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS.
Where do people get ten thousand dollars? And why would they spend it on a holiday and not on a trip to Hawaii in January? She buys her kids everything on their lists and elaborate gifts for every member of her family. Plus they have huge family meals.
Now I can understand wanting to make the holidays special for your children. And wanting them to have beautiful memories is a noble goal. But I don't know, maybe I am naive but I don't think you need to spend ten thousand dollars to do it. I was stressed out just talking to her, no wonder she was so freaked out.
What I really didn't understand was her assertion that she "had" to do the holidays this way. No one has to do Christmas any particular way. Even if you have always done elaborate celebrations you can change that at any time. The point is to enjoy the holidays (religiously, secularly, as family occasions, however) in a way that works for your family. And anyone who gets bent because they are used to cashmere throws as gifts and got a fruit cake instead because you are trying to work within a budget can fuck themselves.
Though possibly you could word Grandma's card differently.
I sympathized with her so much but at the same time just lost patience. Suck it up and admit that you like blowing that much money and you enjoy it (which ok) or change it. But complaining about it or wondering aloud if you are raising spoiled children (because yes you are, though I am sure they are lovely--but seven year olds who own 200 dollar jeans are generally spoiled) is pointless.
I can't even think of a way to spend ten thousand dollars on toys for my kids (even if I had them). DAYAM. Maybe she'll adopt me--I do want a KitchenAide mixer.