Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Wednesday's Words for December 2, 2009

It just seems this year that Christmas is starting earlier than ever before. I think it might be a sign, on the part of the retailers, of desperation. I guess I really can’t blame them. They’re just trying to do what we’re all trying to do – make a living.

It’s going to be another tough Christmas for a lot of people. The Ashburys are not exempt from that, either. Commencing in two weeks, Mr. Ashbury will enjoy a month off work – his first “lay off” in nearly 30 years.

I’m glad we no longer have to worry about feeding kids or giving them a big Christmas. Years ago, when they were small, this happened a couple of times—unexpected sort time just before the holidays. I can recall simply sitting down and crying one time. We weren’t especially good with our money back then, which meant we didn’t exactly save up through the year for Christmas. More often than not we’d fall behind in December because we used bill money to get things for the kids.

Of course, our kids only remember full and happy Christmases. We always managed to do a good job of giving them a feast and lots of gifts, even if it meant we scrambled to get things done afterward. Likewise, we rarely had a New Years Eve out. All the money was for the little ones and really, that was ok with us.

This year is very different than those past times. For one, though we weren’t exactly prepared for this lay off, we have resources to draw on we didn’t have in the past. As well, our mortgage is done, so there’s one thing we don’t have to worry about. And unlike the times of our youth, we are content with less, so staying home reading or watching television is just fine by us.

We’d already decided that everyone was once more going to get gift cards from us for Christmas, as we really don’t know what everyone’s tastes are (some of our grandchildren are teenagers, and their tastes can change almost hourly). That money has already been budgeted. Oh, and I already got Mr. Ashbury’s gift. It’s even wrapped and in hiding, and he has no idea what it is!

I believe my beloved is actually looking forward to having some time off work, even if it is without pay. He should be able to collect some unemployment benefits, enough to cover the basics. I’m beyond fretting about such things anyway. I’ve learned to be content in good times and in lean times just the same, because they really are interchangeable. And as I am very fond of saying, nothing comes to stay; it comes to pass.

I know that I won’t be particularly sorry to not get up at 430 in the morning for the hour and fifteen minute round trip drive, and then another in the afternoon, for a whole month. I especially dislike driving in the winter, when roads can be icy and the “other driver” completely unpredictable. I’ll consider that aspect of this impending lay off to be a blessing.

My daughter has told her father that since he will be home doing nothing while I, on the other hand, will still be working, he should be in charge of domestic duties. That he should clean house and do laundry and cook dinner.

The last is really not a good idea, and ranks in likelihood of happening right up there with pigs flying.

I’m an old fashioned wife anyway; this means that while I would appreciate a bit of a hand – maybe he could vacuum or put on a few loads of laundry (since the machines are in the basement and stairs are really hard for me yet), for the most part, I will be happy to do as I have always done.

Mr. Ashbury has already said there are things around the house – minor repairs and a major cleaning out of the upstairs area where “the others” resided for so long—that he is looking forward to doing. And cheekiness aside, he did get my daughter’s point and acknowledged that I will still be hard at work and not at his beck and call.

I appreciate that acknowledgement. But if he forgets, I’ll simply tell him to go outside and play.

Gifts Galore and a Stellar Cast!
Christmas with Morgan Ashbury and Friends

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