I've done a lot of the shopping already, got the kids a Wii, for example, and Guitar Hero World Tour, that sort of stuff. Something very nice for Amy which I can't tell y'all because she reads this, but I'll tell you after Christmas.
I still have some small things to buy, as well as all of the stocking stuff.
Got a call from my cousin Melissa today, and she was in tears. This was not a begging call, as she knows our income, and wouldn't ask us for anything. It was a please talk to me and hear my pain call.
Her husband has had to take a small pay cut. Not enough to make them starve, but enough to remove any non-necessities from their budget. Also, there will be no Christmas bonus from his job this year. That's what they always use to buy their three daughters' Christmas gifts.
I looked (mentally) at my budget, and realized we have about $200 we were planning to spend on final gifts and stocking stuffers. I told Melissa we were going to give her that, and she tried to argue with me. I didn't let her.
Tonight I gathered the kids, and I said to them:
"Guys, a family we know is in real money trouble this year, and their kids aren't going to have any Christmas at all."
That's all I HAD to say.
They all piped up, with no prompting that they want us to give the Christmas money to them. These kids don't even know that the majority of our shopping for them is already DONE, guys. As far as the boys know, we haven't done ANY shopping yet. Ian almost made me cry when he said something pretty close to this:
"Give the money for me to that family. THAT will be my Christmas present!" And then he beamed that HUGE Ian smile.
Amy said something similar when I talked to her tonight. And Sean and Evan both volunteered THEIR Christmas money with open hands and open hearts.
I am so proud of my kids that I could burst. They are loving and generous people, and that fills my heart with total and complete joy.
They are the kind of people I like to have in my life.
And don't worry, friends, they'll have fun stuff under the tree. This isn't a "Oh, we gave away our Christmas! HALP!" post. It's a "Me So Proud Of Me Kids! RAWR!" post. :)