Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A December to Remember? Ha!

During the holidays, many of the commericals seem to pull at the heartstrings a bit, leaving the viewer with a smug little smile on their face. There are the commericals with talking M&M's meeting Santa, big horses pulling beer trucks, and of course, the Hershey kiss commerical where the candy ring like bells.
I find myself tolerating commericals this time of year, to the point I often do not fast forward when I have DVR'd a show.

There are exceptions however to this holiday rule:

The luxury car commerical.

Specifically I find the Lexus December to Remember promotion the greatest violator my holiday cheer.

Why would I allow such a commerical to get under my skin?

Because I'm a stay at home mom on a budget and that's never going to happen.

That's the short answer.
The long answer goes something like this.
Strap in, it's a long ride!

Once upon a time, I worked.

I was a teacher in a fairly suburban and upper middle class school district where I made a relatively decent salary. My paycheck combined with Bry's let us live a rather comfortable lifestyle for two under thirty somethings. Lots of dinners out, weekend overnights to the city with friends, and a rather carefree view on spending. For the holidays, I would spend frivolously on my loved ones without much thought of budget, with the biggest purchases reserved for Bryan.

No, I didn't get him a Lexus, or even a TAG Heuer watch which he desired. I did however have the ability to buy what I wanted using my own cash, thus leaving a relatively untraceable trail of shopping expenditures. 
The element of surprise was on my side on Christmas morning when he unwrapped gifts from a variety of stores and price points.  

As his personal Santa, I'd like to think I did fairly well, except of course for the year of the pocket watch.

We all make mistakes.

With the addition of Moira and subtraction of my salary, I had to readdress my holiday shopping style. No longer could I just shop. Words like budget and responsibility became part of our combined lexicon, and I looked for sales and other incentives to keep the prices down.

For other family and friends' gifts, I made these concessions easily.

However, for Bryan, it was harder.

No longer did I have "my own" money. There would be no extravagant spending, as I had no money set aside for extravagance.

How could I, with no job or paycheck?

Besides this, Bry balances our books.  This means with every expenditure, I must procure a receipt with exact totals. I do believe he would notice a few hundred bucks missing from the account, or frankly I cringe at the thought of him seeing how much I hypothetically spent on gifts for him.

So that's where my disdain for those Lexus commericals is rooted.

I can't frankly surprise my husband with a Lexus or pretty much anything with a relatively high price tag because he's the one with the money and the one that does the books.

I wish I could lavish my husband with the gifts I feel he deserves: the new extra large TV he's been drooling over, the awesome stand from Restoration Hardware, and that TAG Heuer watch he's longed for for years. But that's just not going to happen.

Instead, this Christmas, there will be gifts under the tree for Bry, however none will have the price tag even a sliver of which comparable to a Lexus. There will be something chosen by Mo and handmade from Maeve, and frankly that's about it.

I know he'll still be merry this Christmas with these gifts, however the thought of how much merrier he could be sporting that TAG makes me nostalgic for those past holidays, or at least that paycheck!

I should mention even if money was no object, I would never buy him a car, because frankly I don't see that as a feasible gift for anyone, even if it's a Lexus SUV.

It's Wednesday, so I'm linking up with the fabulous Shell over at Things I Can't Say.


  1. I so get this. I don't work outside the home either so any purchases I make can't be 'hidden' from hubs. All big buys we need to discuss. Takes a lot of the fun out of holiday shopping. The only Lexus I can get for my hubs would have to be a Hot Wheels.

  2. I have never met anyone who has either given or gotten a car for a gift, Christmas or otherwise.

    I think it should really be named
    "A lie to remember".

  3. I was just complaining about that commercial to my husband. I think it's ridiculous. A car, really?

    And I hear ya on the gifts. It feels weird to spend money on gifts for my husband when it's his money. Yeah, I know it's "ours" but it feels weird when it comes to presents.

  4. I miss having my own money too. Before we made really good money. Never bought a car for my husband but I got him good gifts. This year we picked out our own gifts to give each other :) I figure Jakah will make him some when he is older, as for now arts and crafts involve eating the supplies.
    I have something for you

  5. I hate those commercials. I know they make my husband uncomfortable too, because we have old cars and he probably wishes we could afford that. I hate kids toys commercials that are expensive too. I just hate commercials in general, but when they say "for Christmas" or "gift giving", they make me sick.

  6. I dislike that commercial because it represents materialism and everything I dislike about this time of year. I, too, don't have a lot right now. When I had more, I wouldn't have bought someone a car for Christmas anyway.

  7. Do not like that commercial either! I wish I could do some shopping like I used to, I agree it was so much fun before budgets and responsibilities!

  8. I HATE that commercial. Seriously - even if Ray DID (which he wouldn't) give me a Lexus (which we couldn't afford) .... if he had some cheesy music box that played the "lexus" theme song - I am SO POOR AND MIDDLE CLASS THAT I WOULDN'T RECOGNIZE IT! That is what get's me. The song means NOTHING! You want to give me a gift where I recognize the theme song? How about Folger's? "The best part of waking up..." I would jump for joy! Kristen

  9. That commercial is just stupid. I work outside the home, but make only a fraction of what my husband makes and he also does all the budgeting so the surprise element is pretty much lost.

    Which is sad, but if my husband and I start to get a little nostalgic about any pre children things I always remind him we are going to have many many years without children to do this things again!
    I know your husband will love his presents this year!

  10. We have the same budget/disclosure issues. This year Ryan has been adament about not buying him a gift. But I think he NEEDS a gift. Abbey told me he wants a yo-yo, so that's what he's getting :)

  11. I get this. I work (as a teacher) and we do ok, but still my hubby sees every expense I make when he downloads everything to quicken each night. And as we talk about me going part time in the future, it worries me even more.

  12. Those commercials are so annoying. No one really does that, do they??? I think I'd be pissed because I'd want my name on the car and if I weren't there when it was purchased, that wouldn't happen and I'd be mad at Husband in the long run! LOL...I have control issues.

    Thanks for the comment the other day!

  13. I'm sure he will love whatever is under the tree for him :)


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