husband is the THE biggest Scrooge concerning xmas. He wasn't too bad when our kids were small.......but as they grew up his scrooginess got worse and worse. I've had to force him to pretend to enjoy it just so I don't deck him. lol I've been sitting for easy child's boys while she's been picking up overtime at the hospital to help pay for her xmas. This gave me about 300.00 I didn't have for xmas. Plus money I hid away from the yard sale, what I had left of my last student load refund after paying bills, ect. (about 200.00) It's not much, but it's what I've got to work with. So that 500 bucks has to stretch for 7 grandkids..........as well as santa gifts for katie's 3 kids as Toys for Tots are working on if something can be done........I'm hanging in limbo at the moment.....and even if they do help it won't be much as there are sooo many kids in need this year. It has me stressing. Santa is a HUGE deal to me. It always has been. When I was little my Mom ruined the whole Santa thing for us long before we even made it to grade school, although my step dad did his best to repair the damage the deed had been done. And my Mom didn't see xmas as much more than any other day. We were lucky to get 2 gifts and we luckier still if those didn't come from yard sales or thrift stores. I didn't drown my kids in gifts. But I did make xmas as magical as humanly possible for my kids. They only got 5 presents.......1 big gift from santa.......and 4 smaller ones from Mom and dad. (santa was NOT getting all the credit for my hard work lol) That big gift was something they wanted really really bad and never dreamed they could get because we've never had a lot of money. Same with the 4 smaller ones. I'd watch them all year for what caught their eye, or what they talked about ect......then compared it to what showed up on their santa lists. Then with sales and layaway plans......and skimpy on the food budget ect.....Those special things would show up under the tree each year. Oh, their lists were always longer.....but they always managed to get what they really wanted. Then there was the holiday baking sessions from scratch, decorating the house in decorations they'd made with construction paper and lots of imagination (occupied bored minds during xmas break before the holiday too lol), evenings watching xmas cartoons with homemade cocoa and popcorn until bedtime, taking them to buy gifts for each other....letting them wrap them (that was always funny), on xmas eve the kids opening the presents they'd bought each other so that they wouldn't get lost in the excitement of xmas day, right down to opening 1 gift at a time eldest to youngest so that each one could be admired and appreciated. easy child, Nichole and I plan to create that magic for katies kids. (we've done it with the grands here all along) Of course with them being 1 1/2 hrs away in a shelter it's going to have to be crammed into a single weekend due to work schedules.....and Evan may miss out because Katie seems to think he'd be terrified to spend the night. Like she says he's scared of strangers (not us!) he won't eat for anyone (he gulps down my cooking like he's starved to death), and he will be a wild child.....well actually if his parents are absent he's been an angel. So.......since the magic is going to have to be compressed........and the gift budget is about half of what it normally is..........Yep, I'm stressing a bit. Cuz that budget also covers the baking ect. I bit the bullet and started shopping this weekend. I decided putting it off wasn't making the money multiply. lol husband is watching me bargain hunt to the nth degree. I got a few things at the dollar store and dollar general, nice things cheap as dirt. At wallie world I found a beautiful baby doll I wanted to get kayla. Now 18.00 doesn't sound like much........but I felt like I got punched in the gut. (easy child hadn't paid me yet for the babysitting) I didn't have enough cash and I knew that doll wouldn't be there when I came back to get it. A really cute and cuddly babydoll is not that easy to find. husband tells me to put it in the cart anyway. He'll cover the cost of the doll. Then also gave me 40 bucks he'd squirreled away to add to the xmas budget. You could've knocked me over with a feather. husband has griped about me getting the grands presents since they've been born. He's afraid I'll go crazy like mother in law did each year. lol He has never given me money he has saved toward their xmas. And it's not like we have spare cash laying around. He saves up loose change then exchanges it for paper money. The man smiled and said Kayla Alex and Evan deserve as nice an xmas as we can manage. Wow! I'm still stressing on how I'm going to pull this off.............But it is so much nicer to know he has my back this year instead of grumbling and grumping about everything.