I know. I know. You don’t really need this bit of advice.
You have your own methods for dealing with December’s madness. But maybe we can brainstorm together and explore new possibilities!
This time of year, no one has time to dream up creative ideas. Amid the chaos of the holidays, everything gets swept under the rug—like the crumbs of fruitcake and gingerbread that Aunt Fanny forgets to pick up with her dustpan.
So—today we’re going to use our imaginations. And a little countrified ingenuity.
We’re all on a tight budget this Christmas which is why we must use our imaginations more than ever. I assure you—there are ways to get past this financial crisis. By using Crazy Vic’s Holiday tips, everyone can still have Christmas presents….Everyone can still open their gift boxes and smile a fake smile that says: Thank-you-so-much…(But-now-what-am-I-going-to-do-with-it?)
Why should we spend hundreds of dollars at Dillards when a few bucks at the local Dollar Store can bring the same results?
Here’s what you do, my country neighbor. You pick out something from the Bargain Rack. Peel off the “Made in China” sticker on the bottom. Spit-polish it a bit and wrap it up fancy.
Voila!…There’s a fine gift that will put that same Thank-you-so-much…But-now-what-am-I-going-to-do-with-it smile on Aunt Fanny’s face!
See? Same results….and it’s much less costly.
Ok. That’s Vic’s Number One Tip for the holidays. Now, let’s move on to the next item.
Christmas cards. Right! A nice box of cards costs a fortune…and then you need postage stamps to mail them! A monstrous expense.
Well. I think we can solve that problem, too, without breaking the budget.
If you really think about it, folks….you already have all the Christmas cards that you need. You received them last year from all your relatives and friends.
Now stop. Don’t roll your eyes like that. This really is a simple solution.
You don’t need to White-out all those old signatures on the cards. That’s plain tacky. Instead, you just cut off the used portion of the card, leaving a lovely picture on the front.
And there you have it! A beautiful Christmas Postcard…For Free!
As an added bonus, it only costs you half as much to mail a Postcard as it does to send an actual Christmas card. So, you’ll wrack up quite a savings. (Just don’t send the postcard to the person who sent it to you as a Christmas card, last year! That could get awkward.)
Now—for the next tip….
We need to talk about Preparing-for-the-Kinfolks who will be dropping by. This means getting out the old gifts that they got for you last Christmas. Be sure to display the items in prominent places…But scuff them up, first. They need to look well-used and appreciated, of course.
With company coming, you’ll also need to think about finger-foods for your guests. All those little things that makes Christmas special. Kipper Snacks for Uncle Dan. And those dark chocolate truffles for Aunt Sal…. And don’t forget the toothpicks. (We must talk about the ‘picks! Remind me later, would you?)
Food prep is always a sticky problem…And you know it. You’ve still got last year’s caramel candy buried deep in the carpeting—courtesy of the grandkids. My friend—what you really need is some old-fashioned snacks like peanuts and pretzels. They’re cheap and they’re not at all gooey and—
You say what…?
Oh yes! The toothpicks. Thanks for reminding me. Make sure you get a big stack of ‘picks for the Teeth-Swishers. Otherwise, those folks will drive everybody crazy. All that swishing and swashing. It’s worse than the Ice Crunchers—
Um. Let’s not even go there. Because I’m one of the worst Ice Crunchers around.
We have to hurry, folks. We’re running out of time for this Holiday-brainstorming-session—so we’ve got to wrap it up. We’re going to get serious, now. Real serious.
The most important part of the Christmas season is Giving-of-yourself to others. So what are you going to do about that, my country neighbor?
When you get to January 1st, you want to look back on the holidays and feel satisfied….like you actually accomplished something this year—unlike the dozens of past holidays that disappeared in a swirl of Christmas rum and eggnog.
So—here’s a final tip for the season. You head down to the local Nursing Home. You walk in the door with a big plate of gingerbread cookies for all the Grannies and Granddaddies sitting there in the front room…The weary warriors in the Battle of Life…Those dear old souls who long for a kind smile to get them through the lonely holidays.
You pass out the gingerbreads. You pass out hugs. You sing Silent-Night and Midnight-Clear. Maybe even Drummer-Boy. You squeeze their hands—gently, of course…Arthritic old hands need lots of TLC.
Go ahead…Doll the old folks up a bit. Dab perfume on the old ladies’ wrists. Then splash a little Old Spice on the old men.
Listen to their stories. Stories about Christmas during the Depression Days. Crackling wood-stoves. Ice in the wash-pan every morning. And not one gift beneath the Christmas tree!
You’ll hear all about it. You’ll learn to appreciate the Here-and-Now. You’ll realize that Dollar-Store gifts are splendid things, and that Christmas Postcards are ingenuous. You’ll understand how truly blessed we are, today.
And then you’ll go home…Home to all that caramel candy still squished deep into the carpet. You’ll look about you with gratitude, and you’ll love every peanut and pretzel and toothpick. Every symbol of our modern, pampered existence here in America. .
And best of all—you won’t mind the fake smile on Aunt Fanny’s face when she opens your gifts at Christmastime. You’ll know if Auntie leaves your presents behind, you can always take them to the Nursing Home the next time you go there.
The weary old warriors won’t mind a gift from the Dollar Store. It will warm their lonely hearts. It will make them smile….and not a fake smile, either.
You’ll know one thing for certain…The true spirit of Christmas lives on in the Heartland!
Merry Christmas everyone! And have a sane and sensible New Year!
With Love from Crazy Vic