Monday, December 22, 2008

Our New Christmas Tradition

Back in May when we decided to live beyond our means buy our new home, the husband and I both agreed not to purchase gifts for one another on our anniversary or Christmas anymore for the next few years and use that money to begin replenishing our savings and paying the newer, fatter mortgage.

That all seemed like a good idea at the time. I didn't miss an anniversary gift since I rarely got one anyway, but Christmas, well, who doesn't like to open a little something on the big day? Yeah, yeah, I want some *Peace on Earth and all the children of the world to hold hands and sing* as much as the next person, but as it got closer, I was a little bummed out about raising my husband's children 24/7/365 while being his live-in maid and not receiving a year end bonus.

But I wasn't going to renege on our deal. And, really, everyday here is like a gift now that we're out of the crappy neighborhood and I have a whirlpool tub and ample cabinet space.

But then the husband started to waver, felt like we should mark the occasion, just didn't seem right not to buy me a gift, all AFTER Thanksgiving where I will under NO circumstances shop outside of my home.

So. I came up with a clever plan. We would take an afternoon and go to the grocery store. Our big, fancy grocery store with the sushi bar and ready-to-go meals and all the foods we don't typically buy for ourselves any other time of the year due to our budget. Our 375 dollar a month grocery budget. We could buy whatever food we wanted, we could shop without coupons, we could purchase whatever we desired without feeling guilty that one afternoon and then we'd take our loot home and sate ourselves informally off of paper plates in front of rented movies and have our very own holiday party, just the five of us.

And with visions of California Rolls, the husband agreed.

So on Saturday, we set out on our quest for all things delicious and typically monetarily out of reach.

We spent a lot of time in the wine aisles. The reds were ten percent off, so SCORE!

I'm not much of a wine drinker, but the husband has a glass for his health.

I got beer instead.

We used the forbidden red cart. On a weekly trip, I refuse to employee that unsteerable, germ-laden monstrosity and the kids know it. They don't even ask for it anymore. But, hey, it's fun! and sticky And Christmas! And Daddy is there to push it so, what the heck?!

My golly it was fun! You can just sssllliiddee down into the nether regions of cart crustiness. Who needs to be healthy for the holidays???

Those poor little deprived boys were finally able to partake in the joy that is THE ICEE. And they shared with their sister. Their sister who has, since yesterday, been running a high fever and dripping mucous from every orifice. Merry Christmas boys!

We blew about a third of our monthly budget on our cart full of edible heaven. The husband didn't even wait for our "party" and inhaled his sushi before we'd completely unloaded the car. I've been eating real, imported bleu (not blue) cheese and expensive antipasto from the olive bar. The boys enjoyed their Lunch*bles and ice cream and Spongebob mac and cheese. Elizabeth asked for only bananas, but she's not shy about sharing.

So I won't have a gift under the tree this Christmas. I don't really care anymore. We had such a blast shopping and enjoying our finds together. This is definitely going to become a new tradition at our house. Our new tradition in our new home.

**And I might share my olive bar goodness to anyone who can tell me where that reference is from**


L said...

Jacob is rocking the camo pants there!

As a side note, my in-laws live outside of San Antonio. On our one visit down there, Aidan was about 18 months and my FIL kept talking about going to the HEB. Aidan started calling him Grandpa H.E.B. and the name stuck. We now all call them grandma and Grandpa H.E.B.!
They even put the H.E.B. on the kids' b-day cards.
H.E.B. is one cool store.

andria said...

HEB was the first sign Adam could recognize and anytime he sees the state of Texas on anything he always says HEB!

kelly jeanie said...

I *really* don't like olives, so unless your husband has any sushi left I'll just take my second wish, which would be 30 million dollars every month to me, and then that all the children of the world can join hands and sing together.

Ok, I had to look up the exact words but that has to be from the Steve Martin Christmas monologue from SNL a buncha years ago.

I think your new tradition is really sweet and you all look like you had a great time. And, I know you've had pictures of your DH on here before but I can't remember them so I guess as far as I'm concerned it's my first time seeing him. Hi husband! Also, I am amazed you feed your household on $375/mo. And humbled. I now have a goal!

Lynsey said...

first of all, please share your secret on such an awesome grocery budget? Do you stick to that every month? I just spent $95 at the grocery store tonight and I swear we still have NO food in the damn cabinets.

Secondly, I love your new tradition! How sweet! And I love the picture of the kids in the germy car. :)

No clue what the olive bar reference is to. Do tell!

Happy Holidays! Give those kiddies a big squeeze for me. I'll see you guys soon!

Crazed Nitwit said...

Sat was our 22 anniversary and we went to the store and bought some huge prawns that were on sale and some macademia nuts and cream puffs and had a buffet for dinner. :) I don't have the pleasure of a sick toddler at my house tho.

Kether said...

Fantastic idea. I bet it felt great. If we did that, I'd maybe get some string cheese. I covet some string cheese ... and since my husband does our shopping I don't get any.
not even for my anniversary.

Maggie said...

What a great post!! We, too, have a new house and a tighter budget this year. Who needs Christmas when you've got a bigger backyard and lots of extra rooms?! WE ALL DO!!!!!!! I'm so glad your hubby caved and you all got some Christmas goodies!!! What a great idea for a new tradition.

I was cracking up (out loud at work, no less) at the kids in the Cart O' Death. Oh man, I completely agree w/ you there on the whole germ thing. I have sworn off all pushing of carts, but on the rare occasion that I actually have to push one, I can instantly feel an invisible glove of germs coating both hands. It might all be in my head, but I keep the GermX in my purse for just such an occasion!! ha ha said...

You're all smiling (almost) in that picture!!! You can't complain anymore.

THAT is a great present. Patrick and I would have cleaned out the lobster and crab selections...

ChupieandJ'smama (Janeen) said...

I won't tell you what I spend on groceries. You'd faint. And yes, you do have to share your grocery secrets with us.
Sounds like you all had fun!! What a great Christmas present to yourselves:)

Aimee said...

What cute pictures!

Erin said...

I'm jealous that you're wearing SHORTS!

Looks like y'all had a fun day!

Dawn said...

What a cool idea. Course my tastes would go more along the lines of having an Icee with the kids. lol!