Sunday, October 25, 2009

Christmas List - Pros & Cons

I've been down in bed with swollen bronchal tubes for several months (damage from local forest fires). The Doctor has had me on antibiotics and steroids twice but it still isn't working very well. On Tuesday I go to a Pulmonologist and hopefully he can help me. Needless to say I'm very bored, have no voice, try not to cough and get very shaky if I get up for any length of time. Essentially I'm not able to do anything and my thought processes are a bit muddled (More than usual - oxygen seems to be an esential element for energy and brain function).

So, in my boredom I thought that I would make up a Christmas list so that I could get organized for the holidays. I've done a terrible job on Birthdays the last few years and I'm determined to do better. In the usual Tammy fashion, I opened up a spreadsheet and started typing in names of just my children, step-children, spouses and grandchildren. I knew that there were a lot but I was overwhelmed - there are 44 names on the list! This does not include my husband, parents, siblings or friends!

Now that I've faced the reality of providing Christmas wishes for our large family - I'm a bit depressed. Don't get me wrong, our family isn't expecting anything big for Christmas or anything but I would like to send some kind of token gift to let them know we are thinking of them. A lot of large families will draw names but we can't do that because we have my kids, Bob's kids, Bob's step-kids and 16 beautiful grandchildren. Since we have only been married 7 1/2 years the kids didn't grow up together and so there are a variety of different relationships between kids and grandkids.

My sister, Jerri Ann, suggested that I join UStamp with Dawn & Friends 09. I decided to join with the hopes that I could find some fun ideas to help me get through my Christmas list without breaking the bank. I have been pleasantly surprised at the fun projects and great variations that the members are making. Needless to say I can see a light at the end of the Christmas list. Having 9 sons and more grandsons this may be a challenge since as my son Ryan says, "Scrapbooking isn't manly." and papercrafts probably aren't much more manly in his eyes. Fortunately there are some cute ideas for couple gifts. Our daughters and daughter-in-laws, on the other hand will probably really like most of these imaginitive ideas.

Please don't get me wrong, I am very aware of my MANY BLESSINGS and am not complaining about having so many people to love. I just want to be able to send simple Birthday and Christmas gifts without it being a financial strain. We need to save money to go and visit all of these sweet families. August and December are the biggest gift-months. We have 13 Birthdays and Anniversaries in August and then December Birthdays and Christmas. WOW, we are so blessed...

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