Christmas Pigs

My sister, Barbara, and I were talking today on the telephone. First, I have to mention, she lives one street over from me and I hardly ever see her, maybe twice a month. It’s not that we don’t love each other, because we do. She is my best friend, my free therapist, ( I also pay someone for therapy), more like a mother to me than my mother ever was, my confidant. She’s also my daughter’s free therapist and is able to talk to my daughter about me and talk to me about my daughter yet keep the confidentiality for both my daughter and I. She’s not even a real therapist but she’s good at it. It’s just we like to talk on the phone. We don’t need to see each other all the time because we talk on the phone at least 5-7 times a day. Some talks last an hour. You wouldn’t think we would have so much to talk about. There’s a lot of gossip involved. You all know by now I am the neighborhood spy and my sister’s a pretty good spy too. We also live in a smallish town so everyone knows everyone. So there is always someone to talk about. We also talk about our kids a lot.

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Anyway, we were talking on the phone. I was on my cell phone parked in front of the bookstore where she had been just a half hour before me and she was at home. We miss each other in town all the time. I call from my cell phone to tell her what I just bought and she will say “Oh, I was just there.”. We were talking about Christmas and how this year we were both trying to spend less. In the past we have both gotten way too carried away with buying presents for our families. That’s when we decided we were Christmas Pigs. We love getting lots of presents, not like just one or two bigger ones but lots of smaller ones too, so we have lots of stuff to open. We also decided when we were younger we liked surprises under the tree. And I’m not talking that much younger either, but now as we get older we just want what we want. Make a list, give it to who ever is in charge of buying all our presents and tell them to just get everything on it. That’s a Christmas Pig.

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This year is going to be different. No more Christmas Pigs. A couple of gifts each and a Christmas stocking. I guess I won’t be getting the laptop or HDTV I wanted. Since I do all the cooking I envision cooking utensils. Maybe a nice set of wooden spoons and a can opener. But I don’t want to be a Christmas Pig this year anyway. I want to enjoy the season and my family and all that crap. Did I say crap? I meant stuff. No, seriously, maybe I’ll go Christmas caroling on my street. I would have to go in a wheel chair and it’s not motorized and most of my street is dirt. Could be a challenge. The challenge would be getting someone in my family to go with me. My sister, definitely not. She hardly ever leaves her house. We’re both a little agoraphobic. Actually we do fairly well if we don’t have to leave town and she wouldn’t want to push the wheel chair anyway (we know I go to weight watchers and I’m not a light weight). She’d never go. My daughter can’t carry a tune and she knows it and wouldn’t want to embarrass herself. My son-in-law, not on his life. Possibly, my ex-husband but I’d have to do something in return, like his laundry for a year.

I guess I’ll just listen to Christmas music on the radio. I need to get into the non materialistic mode, the unselfish mode, the give to the poor people mode. But it’s hard to stop being a Christmas Pig when you’ve been one for so long, though not having any money does make it a lot easier. A Christmas Pig doesn’t only want presents but loves buying them. My daughter and I can shop for 8 hours at a time easily. But financially we are not where we used to be, probably from spending too much on past Christmases.

So we decorated the tree tonight to put us all in the Christmas spirit. This is a photo of this year’s tree, not quite finished decorating. Notice the size. My daughter picked it out.

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Now this is last year’s tree. I picked it out. Notice how much smaller it is.

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Notice, my tree last year is even on a table. Years ago our trees reached the ceiling. We would buy 10 foot trees. This year’s looks about 8 feet. But I didn’t have to decorate it (I just watched), so I don’t care how big it is.

Once all the presents are wrapped and under the tree, we’ll see if we turn into Christmas pigs or control ourselves and not get into more debt.

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6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Barbara
    Dec 13, 2007 @ 15:17:48

    I think Craig was profoundly relieved when I handed him my list and told him to get everything on it and not worry about going to the mall to buy stuff I don’t want.

    Reply

  2. Life With Buck
    Dec 13, 2007 @ 17:06:54

    The Christmas Pigs thing made me laugh right out loud. Do you call your gifts prizes, like Barbara does? That’s another thing that’s always made me laugh, the way she refers to her gifts as prizes, and prizes under the tree, etc. I’m actually wearing a Christmas prize from Barbara right now today, a beautiful red gem-encrusted ponytail holder she gave me a few years ago.

    The tree thing is funny because a couple of years ago I stopped buying big giant trees and my kids (Cody, mostly) flipped out about it. I always felt bad about these lovely trees giving their lives to sit in my stupid living room, they’re too expensive, and they’re a ROYAL PAIN THE ASS to decorate, un-decorate, dispose of, etc. So I started buying small, table-top size and nobody liked them. Kids, even grown ones, seem to hate table top trees. With no critics around, last year I used a bare naked branch from the backyard, stuck lights on it, and said there, that’s our tree, everybody enjoy!

    It was wicked easy to take down after Christmas. I’ll post a photo of it in my blog next week. Hopefully.

    Reply

  3. Life With Buck
    Dec 13, 2007 @ 17:09:16

    Also, the jury is still out what I’ll do about a tree this year. I’m considering making a giant cardboard cutout to hang on the wall and decorating it … ala kindergarten style. Then I can throw it in the trash on New Year’s Day.

    Reply

  4. Emily
    Dec 14, 2007 @ 14:28:22

    I think I’m a Christmas pig too–totally my Mom’s fault for raising me the way she did. I’m distressed over Christmas this year because 1) we’re trying to sell the house and we’re forced to have a tiny tabletop tree this year and 2) we’ve agreed to buy a gift for the house, leaving us with only a few, little things to open. I had to be very specific with John that I wanted things to open, even if it’s just candy.

    I love having a horde of presents to open!

    Reply

  5. joanharvest
    Dec 15, 2007 @ 00:12:50

    I have to agree. Both your mom and I raised you and Sarah as Christmas Pigs. But you are both smart Christmas Pigs and know when not to be Piggy. I think the important thing now is trying to buy the new house. But It’s still hard not to be a Christmas Pig. But either way we will have a great Christmas eve and Christmas dinner.And screw Weight Watchers for those two days. I won’t pig out but I will enjoy some of the great food.

    Reply

  6. moonbeammcqueen
    Dec 15, 2007 @ 12:56:32

    I love your description of the possibility (or impossibility) of your family caroling! If your crew showed up singing on my doorstep, I’d be delighted! And my tree looks at lot like yours from last year, only smaller and fakier. We’re having an anorexic piggy Christmas this year.

    Reply

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