This year the Season has been different in this bailout economy culture. We have our jobs and haven't had any income cuts just the expense hikes that have been crunching for a while. As I don't qualify for the any congressional bailout funds we have found other ways to scrimp and save.
I have always made Christmas gifts from the kitchen for neighbors and co-workers. This year that list expanded. Honestly, I enjoyed making it all and as a bonus it was more economical than buying stuff and I think more useful. The only gifts that I truly went to a store to buy were for the kids. The few that I have to give to got their toys.
Adults in the family are mostly getting homemade things too. I made so much Creme de vie this year and gave so much that I have actually run out. I need to make more. I made 5 liters, more than I ever make and was short. The last bottle that was actually going to be a gift for my boss, 19 asked if he could give to his girlfriends parents. So, the boss is getting cranberry bread that was intended for the host of Christmas day brunch - oh well.
Which leads me to my kids. Part of my gift to 19 was to give him money to buy his girlfriend tickets to go to see The Nutcracker. He wanted to surprise her and he did. He told her to dress up nice, suited up and armed with tickets in a Santa gift bag and a bottle of creme de vie with an ornament hanging from it he went to her house to spread Christmas. I was the one bottling and scrambling for the bag at the last minute. As he was ready to walk out the door, he looked at his wares and said, "wow, mom. This all looks really nice. Thanks." He gave me a kiss and went out the door. Did he know that he just gave me a gift? After their outing, they went to dinner and after 11pm he called. "Are you up? We can go by and tell you about it, if you want?" Yes, I'm up, come on over. Of course, I jumped out of bed and got dressed and went out to wait for them. I listened to their retelling their evening. Her anticipation, his nervousness, her surprise, their enjoyment at the show. 16 sat with us and entertained us all with his sarcastic comments peppering their story. What a gift they gave me. I didn't get to bed until after 1am and I'm at work this morning but what I gift I had last night sitting with my boys and his girlfriend sharing stories and laughs. Priceless!