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Book cover from children;s novel, Christmas Ho...

Book cover from children;s novel, Christmas Holidays at Merryvale by Alice Hale Burnett. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ho Ho Ho.

Santa is looming on the horizon with his booming laugh or whatever you want to call that sound he makes growing louder each day.  My children are both dreaming of large electronic sugarplums, day dreaming.  Alyssa already knows what she is getting from Santa Dad.  We picked it out and bought it together — a nice new laptop PC we found online the night before Thanksgiving.  Nate knows of said laptop PC and is therefore expecting Santa Dad to produce something equal in value.

Yikes.

Christmas is one of the challenges of parenting.  Our dilemma has always teetered on the desire to teach our children proper values, to keep them from the clutches of greed, and between the desire to give them the nice things in life.  I pay the bills, so usually it is me that tries to hold the spending down.  Mir goes crazy with Christmas presents and does not seem to understand that buying a lot of little things adds up quickly.  Our Christmas budget gets blown each and every year, the little things killing us more than the big things.  This year we are getting each child a big thing — Nate wants a tablet and will likely get one — but I doubt my sweet wife will stick to the additional $100 budget I have set for each child.  That’s a lot, I know, but we only get them for a short while.  In the meantime, I am counting on my Christmas bonus to pay for said presents, and I hope that Mir at least doesn’t spend all of that.  I’m no Clark Griswold and my bonus will not be the jelly of the month club, but the bonus is not a huge amount either.  What we don’t spend on presents will likely what we live on from Christmas to New Year’s day.

Speaking of Santa, another challenge that presents itself to me this time of year is my growing belly.  Cycling keeps it in check quite nicely during the warmer months, enough that my pants practically fall off by July, but I always find myself wondering why my pants are shrinking come this time of year.  Mountain biking helped keep the Santa spread the last few months, actually kept me in very good shape, but yesterday I noticed my waistline was tugging at my jeans.  Oops.  Time to behave, cut the sugar out of my diet for the next week, get back into the exercise regimen.

Ho Ho Ho.

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