Walking the Walk at Christmas Time

By , December 24, 2015

Did I set myself up, or what? Here we are on Christmas Eve, at the most generous time of the year, and I’m busy talking about frugality!

I can’t tell you how difficult it was for me to go to town in the middle of these many, long essays on how to save money and reduce spending (start with Homestead Core Values: Frugality) to buy stocking stuffers!

In our family, stocking stuffers may just be the most frivolous spending of our year. We continue to exchange stockings even as adults, even as Aly reached adulthood and moved away from home.

Merry Christmas from the Zeiger Family Homestead (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

Merry Christmas from the Zeiger Family Homestead (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

Because of who we are and what brings us pleasure, a Zeiger family stocking overflows with practical items, small tools the recipient needs, a fair amount of real food to counterbalance the chocolates, candies, and other treats. Even so, much of what we find on Christmas morning can’t be considered anything but pure, unabashed luxury, non-essentials, extravagances.

In the past I’ve confessed to the amount of blog composition that runs through my head on any given day. Since frugality is the topic at hand, of course I thought a lot about it, even as I shopped for and purchased little presents that no one could truly be said to need. I utterly failed to walk the walk on that day.

I could use the time honored excuse: “Christmas comes but once a year!” but I won’t.

I will say that the looks of joy and surprise, the laughter and delight that attend the opening of stockings, and every tradition of the holiday cannot easily be judged in monetary terms. They’re priceless!

So, if you celebrate Christmas, we wish you a blessed evening of anticipation, love, comfort, and joy this night, and a very merry Christmas day!

Perhaps I said it best in 2010, in A Thought for Christmas Eve.

4 Responses to “Walking the Walk at Christmas Time”

  1. Angie says:

    Mark, Christmas DOES come but once a year, and, as you said yourself in an earlier post, “Remember that frugality does not curtail generosity.” These things are treats; they make us happy and I don’t think they’re incompatible with an otherwise reasonably frugal lifestyle. I’ve always loved well-thought-out stocking stuffers, especially small tools or other completely practical supplies along with the gourmet treats. They’re not “extras,” they’re a practical expense this time of year. Their purpose: love and happiness.
    A warm winter, a gentle solstice, and a brave new year to all.

  2. John and Mary Helfrich says:

    The ultimate to us is the fact that you have Christmas lights on the cabin! With all the attention that is required to energize the homestead, you keep up the honored tradition of festive lights.
    Thanks for keeping all of us up to date on the homestead activities….you are an inspiration to us!!
    Have a wonderful Christmas and terrific visit with your brother and Anke.
    Thanking of you folks,
    John and Mary

  3. Mark Zeiger says:

    Merry Christmas, John and Mary! Thank goodness the power’s free for us, because I do love the Christmas lights. A new report says the U.S. uses more power on Christmas lights than many countries use for everything in a whole year. I’m glad we don’t contribute to that figure.

  4. Mark Zeiger says:

    Well said, Angie (and extra points, as always, for using my own words against me).

    Now that we’ve opened presents, I’ve had to reassess. What I belittled as “extras” turned out to be new headlamps, work gloves, and other important and practical things. There was even a fair amount of real food. It appears to be rather relative . . . .

    Looking forward to doing some totally unproductive things with you in 2016!

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