I remember when my dad told his stories of how his family and friends pulled together during the Great Depression. I remember how his eyes softened and glistened with happy Christmas memories of modest, homemade gifts, games, and family togetherness. Without an excess of money, his family focused on what they did have to give: themselves. Well, I've decided that this Christmas will be an old-fashioned one that will focus on what really matters: family and friends.
My proposal to my family and friends is this: no gift will cost more than $5. In fact, I want it to be a theme Christmas: A Dollar-General Christmas. Gifts are not to be the kind that pretend to be more expensive or from more expensive stores. Let's pick out gifts that are highly personalized (I'm thinking right now about gifts like the "Dad shirt" beer cozy that Ville gave me last summer). Let's spend time together in the livingroom, playing music at the piano and on our guitars, working jigsaw puzzles and playing board games on the kitchen table, and enjoying a nice but affordable Christmas dinner (right now, Willow's post roast sounds really good!).
Maybe this financial crisis is just what our country needs to get back to the real meaning of Christmas: family, friends, love and laughter. Why should gifts each year compete with those we gave last year as better, bigger, flashier, more expensive? They shouldn't.