I've always liked the word conundrum but it must have been coined after my 1971 dictionary because it's not in there. Or, it's possible that World Book just left it out because it sounded strange. I had to look the word up on the Internet just so I could be absolutely certain that it was a good word and the precise word needed here. What it means is a confusing and difficult or challenging problem. These situations are often found in comedy.
I believe the word was coined to describe my life. I found a web site with all kinds of nifty conundrums and stole one for you but I can't paste it here because I don't know how. I'm 71 now and can't be expected to know all there is about technology. It's not possible and frankly, I don't want to know it all. I know enough to get by. That's enough. Now, back to our story.
Every year at this time I used to go through mental aches and pains trying to decide if we should buy Christmas presents with money we didn't have. I did this because in the old days we had money enough to get gifts for our parents, children and grandchildren. I admit that some years we might have gone overboard. Perhaps the full-sized cardboard figures of Batman and Superman which we took to Anchorage, Alaska would be on that list. Or it could be the Harley jacket I got our two year old grandson.
Hey! It was our first grandchild. Mr. S will tell you he had nothing to do with this nonsense. He's correct. The big spender on other people is me. I am THE guilty party. He does sometimes laugh at my purchases and approves them in theory. He finds it so easy to say things like, "They already have everything and we can't get them anything they don't have." Also the ever-popular, "We need to spend our money on us," and "They're too old to get gifts now."
I should mention that Mr. Scrooge does not find himself to be too old to get gifts. He LOVES presents and can't get enough of them. He always says he doesn't need anything but I know he'd be heartbroken if there wasn't something under that tree for him. I've also noticed that this old man loves getting money from Mom. Ah yes, he talks big but inside he's like the rest of us. We all love presents.
Most of the Geezers I know don't have a lot of spare dollars for a regular month. It is no wonder they struggle with Christmas. I can say that I used to have giant sized anxiety over this gift issue. Life helped me get over it.
Living on Social Security is a reality check for all of us. I won't complain because we are blessed to have it. The problem is that it doesn't leave much behind for the kinds of Christmas we once had.
First, we stopped giving gifts to our daughters each year. Those talks were far less painful than I'd anticipated. Then we did the same with our grandchildren. They are grown and on their own now and so far none of them have divorced us. I will say that when we can, we do send gifts or money for a special cause. It works for us and seems to work for them. I think all of us are happier for it because we've asked for them to stop giving us gifts.
I promise you this works and after a few years, I'm anxiety-free about Christmas. I don't send cards any more either because my right hand doesn't like to write. I tried Christmas letters on the computer but there's that issue of envelopes and stamps. Yes, I know you can make labels on the computer but I can't. Please reference my earlier comments.
So, there you go. Christmas is such a wonderful time of year that you should not have to feel guilt about not doing all the things you once did. Being old should have some perks and as far as I am concerned, this should be one of them. The only thing you have to do is enjoy every day between now and the holiday. Also you must take good care of yourself so you'll be at your best when visiting family and friends. This the real heart of the holiday.
Of course, my Mom and our great granddaughter are exempt. They get presents. Everyone else will be just tickled to know that we got ourselves a 55” television with their gift money. We saved it. We spent it and I believe this is a gift that will keep on giving for the two of us. We are television junkies. I'd like to thank everyone in my family for the TV and yes, this is a conundrum solved. Have a great week, Geezers!
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