Friday, December 7, 2007

Christmas 2008

I sent the following email message to my parents and inlaws and wanted to share it with you because I know many of my friends & I have all discussed this and all share the same views on what a joke Christmas has become. It really has lost all meaning. And the following email suggests an idea I had to help get back that Christmas spirit. I thought maybe it would spark an interest with other families also....Here's the email I sent explaining the idea I had....I wish I had thought of it sooner.....

Hear me out.

Every year I dread the Christmas season even
more than the previous year....why?....because every year our (& by "our" I
mean "my".....because Papa Smurf only buys for ONE) list of people to buy for seems to
get larger. I figured out yesterday that Papa Smurf & I buy gifts for 38
people and only 10 of those people are kids. So every year
we.....I..... stress out trying to figure out what to get our parents because
they're the most difficult people to buy for.....why?.....because they don't
really NEED or WANT anything.....the ideas I was given this year were things cards....gloves...... facial cream ..... slippers.....when we all
know darn well that if we really NEEDED or WANTED these things we all have the
ability to buy them for ourselves....because non of us are struggling
financially. WE don't need anything....YOU don't need
anything,..... So... Christmas in my eyes has come to an exchanging of
money....I purchase gifts for each of you that total between $75 - $100 and you
in turn give us money or a gift totaling about the same which basically pays for
the gift we purchased for you.....and vice versa.... Does anyone else see
the ridiculousness of this? Meanwhile, there are 100,000s of families in
Michigan alone that are struggling too hard to keep their roofs over their
family's head to even THINK about providing their own kids with a decent
Christmas.....or food for that matter. It's really getting to me this
year. I feel guilty.

The boys' gymnastics school is
sponsoring several different foster children for Christmas....they provided each
of the kid's age, clothing size, specific needs and interests.....we
purchased some gifts for those kids and it got me

Here's my proposal and Papa Smurf thinks it's a wonderful
idea too.....we would have suggested this for this year but it's too late
now....came up with the idea too late.

What do Papa Smurf & I want for
Christmas 2008? We want you to take any money that you would typically
spend on us.....I'll let each of you decide if you want to include your gift to
the kids in that pool.....because....again.....lets face it, they're not in need
of ANYTHING.....but I understand if , as their Grandparents, you still feel
a need to get them something..... and pool that money together with
the money we would have typically spent on each of you (I estimate that pool of
money would be nearly $1,000) and sponsor/adopt a family (or even 2 or
3) in need for Christmas. I found a website that has an "Adopt a
Family Christmas Program"....Here's their brochure

are many different ways of doing this. We can do a "direct" sponsorship
where we get to personally meet and contact the family(s) we choose.....the
parents can then give us a wish list for their kids & themselves
and we can all purchase presents for the family directly..... or we can
purchase a gift certificate for the family and let them do the shopping.....or
we can simply take that money and just donate it to the site and let them find a
family in need. I thought pooling our money together to help 1 or 2
families would be a nice tradition we could start together...and would certainly
mean a whole lot more to each of us than just exchanging money back and forth
between ourselves.

I suggested earlier in the season not exchanging
gifts and received a little resistance but I think this is even better than not
exchanging gifts. It may be a little weird the first time we do
this....getting used to not getting or giving gifts to each other but I think
after that initial year we'll realize the difference we could be making in
another child's Christmas.

I hope you're as excited about this as I
am....let me know what you're thoughts

Mama Smurf

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