What that means, to us, is that there are some people who either haven't been hit by the economy, don't understand the need for restraint or just plain don't care.
For us low lifes, we have been hit by the economy. The boy is aware of the economy largely because we have cut back to a pretty severe extreme. We aren't doing the over the top gifts....although the boy did get a lot of things we found at rummage sales and a large # of books that will be great for him in the future. No big ticket items though.
No trips to Paris, no fancy toys and no new car for him. Hearing about the hoi poloi that can afford such amazing trips and gifts is still beyond our comprehension. It is nice to hear about but why? Stimulating the economy is one thing. taking on the stimulation of an entire economic community is something else (didn't Madonna buy an island or something?).
The whole "spend it all" concept is something I would rather hear about, if I have to, and not experience. Frankly the entire theory of such extravagence is really sort of tacky. When most people are struggling to find work, spending a load of cash on something really outrageous....well it doesn't make good sense.
Fortunately for us, the boy worked out that he wasn't getting a "big ticket item" this year. Not because we couldn't . We probably could have.....BUT because he hadn't behaved well towards me (the Mom of the house) we decided that he wasn't worthy of such a gift. Although it was tempting to do a Chevy Chase and wrap up Aunt Bethany's cat for the boy we decided that wasn't necessarily in good taste.....besides we don't have an Aunt Bethany.
So we did just the plain stuff. Gifts we know he will like, but as with the books, we spend very little and end up looking like we did quite a lot. Things we were holding onto or just something made by one of us. Although after a whole day with video games he lost the right again and we are back at the drawing board. It isn't good form to tell the cuter half "I told you so" but "I did tell you so"- Sorry dear.
Most of these gifts we have had for many a year (stored in a secret location). One, a mask I made in college....is going into his collection of masks. The boy had NEVER seen it before; and Yes I did make it many years ago. He was beyond thought that his mom actually had some talent.
For us, Christmas gift giving to the boy is an evaluation of the entire year. Honestly, we were mature adults about this gift thing this year. We played dirty, we hid gifts, we put gifts in different paper than what we used for everything else. We didn't put gifts out until the night before the night before Christmas. The boy thought he wasn't getting anything (he was genuinely concerned). He knew he messed up. Knew he had blown it earlier in the fall and knew that although forgiven, the incident was not forgotten.
We kept reminding him that the cost of what he did cost him in the long run. The boy knew it, and understood why we did what we did with him. He did get two lumps of coal.
However, I digress. The boy knew that the gifting in the house was curtailed, not only by the obvious economic climate, but by necessity. Spending on some bills affected the gift giving for everyone and the spending was due to his inability to keep himself together. He has learned and although frustrated with himself is going to have a better year this coming year. We've already discussed it. HE is going to do better....and as a parent I am going to get off his back (sort of). There are certain places I know about, and frankly I am NOT going to end up like someone I used to know. That person suffered with her disabled child ALOT and I am not going to get to that point. I saw what happened to her and it was tragic....thinking about it guts me to the core.
Like with any family, a family with a child with a disability, well we have a lot do deal with....we have some things we have to be firm with and let go of the outrageous stuff...There are some places we would like to go, and others we can do with out. Same with gifting and such for the boy. And honestly, he is growing to be a better person without the over the top gifts and will learn to deal with a 3rd hand car that hopefully we can pick up for cheap.... that being said, not all the Aspies will be driving a car....nor will they be able to enjoy the freedom of working. But for those that are able, they will be working to do their thing and be independent.
In the mean time, we have enjoyed this 10 year anniversary Christmas. Although the cuter half and I have been together LONGER....we have been fortunate to celebrate a wonderful milestone together.... and are looking forward to many more
Looking back, I honestly don't have any regrets this last year. No "would've, should've, could've" I would describe the firts part and the last part of the year as almost peaceful (the summer not so much)....and for us that is really saying something