In an effort to continue on my road to being financially responsible I only bought what I could afford for the kids. As for my brothers' households I ended up making them three separate dinners, froze them and included cooking/heating instructions with each of the dishes. Each meal can feed at least 8. If you calculate the meals to eating out ... their gifts are worth about $240. They get a home cooked meal without having to dirty a mixing bowl or getting special ingredients at the store. And those meals are perfect when life gets hectic.
I ended up getting the best Christmas present this year; a financially stable January 2013.
Here is the interesting thing ... Christmas with my family was still fantastic no matter the number of presents. The kids loved opening up presents (I could have wrapped an empty box and they would have loved it) and we spent time together as a family.
Sometimes we (as a culture) get so consumed with buying more, bigger and newer that we lose sight of what we really need. I needed to spend time with my family and enjoy their company. I needed to not spend beyond my budget if I wanted to be able to do more for them in the future. And I needed to prove to myself that my wants are never better than my needs.
|I needed a snowman. So I built one.|