I was going to post some shots of our tree this year but then I realized that it looks pretty much the same as last year's tree (minus the shelves which fell after the earthquake resulting in plaster repair) so there you go.
We not going over the top for presents this year as we're reigning in our Christmas spending because:
a) the economic times have put stress on small businesses, of which we are one
b) we're hoarding what we have so we can ride this economic downturn.
c) hookers and blow
d) answers A and B
It dovetails nicely with my theory that we focus too much on material excess anyway, but now at least I have a solid reason to back it up and not seem like a tightwad.
We're changing things up this Christmas by going 99% local and/or handmade. I'm hoping that our inability to get fancy with presents is offset by the fact that an inordinate amount of love and thought has gone into each gift. I'm not going to get into the details of it all considering my immediate family reads my website, but we are rolling up our shirtsleeves and playing the part of Santa's workshop elves. It's been a bit of a dream to not have to go into a mall and shop. I can share what the boys are receiving: I've been making Ewan a teddy bear out of leftover fabric I had stored away in my office; each of the boys will receive arm warmers made from yarn they chose themselves; I burned Liam a disc of Dropkick Murphys tracks from my iTunes collection; each of them will get a couple of games, provided by Nintendo, for the Wii; we're also looking at getting sturdy, but inexpensive bunkbeds for the boys off of Craigslist as Ewan has outgrown his toddler bed.
I've compiled a list of local, handmade items that I am drooling over, some of which may be (or already is) under our tree. All are local and handmade. None of these people are paying me (or even know I'm making this list). Mamalogues Buying Local and Handmade Gift Guide 2008: