Ooooh, my love-hate relationship with Legos. But that's for another post.
Seeing that list full of dreams and desires - especially those of my boys - opens up a pit in my stomach that is roughly the size of healthy bank account. I mean, we all say that presents are not the point or the meaning of Christmas, but they sure do make it more magical. I think most of us can harken back to starry childhood moments around the tree, surrounded by mountains of torn wrapping paper, with our hands full of cherished surprises and our hearts full of glee. Now fast-forward to adulthood: YOU have to buy all the presents. And it SUCKS. Because money has been SCARCE. And without presents, suddenly Christmas is no longer magical, not quite as festive, and a lot less glittery.
By the way, if you can't relate to this post, you're following the wrong blog, deary.
So what does this boymom do to quell her gift guilt?
Find ways to earn money!
(Don't worry, I'm not hookin'.)
I've never thought of myself as having a limited skill set, but the options can certainly look bleak when it comes to selling one's productive output. Luckily, I have a long and diverse-ish background in sewing, so I quickly drafted an email and sent it out to all 30 or so of my boys' classroom parents offering a special holiday rate on hemming.
If you're at all familiar with clothing alterations, you may know that pants or skirt hems will cost you from $10-25 at your local tailor. So you can understand how I would anticipate that just a few takers would result in a decent-sized gift or two - by my standards, anyway.
Well, wouldn't you know it? I didn't get one single reply to my offer. Maybe all those parents are very loyal to their tailors. Or maybe they all fit their clothes perfectly off the rack. Or, most likely, my email landed in their junk mailboxes and was never even read. Regardless, hope for profitable work waned grimly.
Now we come to the turning point in my pathetic tale, because a beautiful friend of mine came by with a little craft project for me to do which brought joy and merriment to my heart and a little cash to my wallet. Let me tell you what she asked me to do.
She said to me, "I would like you to sew ribbon loops onto these bath towels for my kids. I also want you to sew on these monogram buttons. And, that way, I will know who left their towel on the bathroom floor and I can punish them."
|Like my classy tree in the background?|
Imagine my delight at this both creative and diabolical assignment!
This mom of four had purchased luxurious new bath towels at Costco (is that a Midwest thing?) and supplied me with the most adorable embellished grosgrain ribbon and one-inch monogram buttons featuring the first initials of each of her bathroom offenders.
It took me a little under an hour to complete the project. Besides the customary battle with my rarely-used sewing machine, I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. I giggled to myself as I imagined my friend snatching a wet towel off the floor and triumphantly reading the attached initial.
"Oh, Abby!" she might call, although her daughter's name isn't actually Abby. "You owe me a dollar for having to pick up your towel off the floor!"
What a fantastic plan. I'm still just giddy about it. If I had towel hooks instead of towel bars, I would totally consider doing this for my boys. Like me, you may never have considered that kids are extremely unlikely to ever hang a towel properly over a towel bar. But if they have a nice big loop, they can easily hang the towel on a reachable hook, making them more responsible and preserving your sanity ALL AT THE SAME TIME!!!
Kudos to my lovely friend for coming up with this idea. Your fellow mothers salute you!