In Dec. 27 IssueRussell County NewsBy Wade Daffron, Columnist
I'm a worrier...that's just what I do.
I also "fret" on occasion.
When I read all the "Letters to Santa" in last week's newspaper, I worried AND fretted (is that a word?)
I worried because so many of the kids had high expectations.
I lost count of how many children wanted a Nintendo DS. (Not to menton a Nintendo Wii, Playstation 3, or some other kind of game system priced in the three-digit range.)
A Nintendo DS costs around $130, and that doesn't include games-which run at least $20-30 each. (Higher for new or "hot" games.)
Both boys and girls wanted a DS, and I feel comfortable in saying there was "hundreds" of requests for them.
Which made me think:
1). Are there enough to go around?
There's always an item that's hard to get around Christmas.
Or more importantly,
2). Can people afford them?
Now, I don't know how things have been around your house this year, but it has been mighty slim pickings around ours.
Ramen noodles have been the main course for months on end.
The luxury of soft drinks have been replaced with powdered drink mixes or the ever-popular water. (And that's probably a good thing.)
All loose change has been rolled and spent.
Bottom line: Money is scarce.
Can I get an "AMEN"?
I fretted over what all these parents/guardians were thinking when they read these Christmas letters.
Yes, we want our kids to get what they want, but we also have to think about things like, oh, food, shelter, clothing, etc.
With the present economy, there is no longer such a things as "discretionary income."
Earlier this year, when gas was $4 a gallon, it took every penny a person had to keep fuel in a vehicles just to get back and forth to work...in order to have money to buy gas (if that makes any sense.).
It's hard to save money (or make a budget) when costs are unpredictable. (Well, actually, they HAVE been predictable-costs keep going up!)
So, how do you tell a child they won't get that $130 video game-thingy for Christmas?
Will the child be mad at you? Will the child show anger toward Santa Claus? Will the child be upset with God over not getting the hot toy of the season?
Will those who got a DS ridicule those who didn't?
It may not not be a big deal some kids. Some may be thankful to get anything.
Some will be hurt, some will be furious.
There may very well be frustration felt from the kids who didn't get what they want, and the person who couldn't provide the requested gift.
Traditionally, people used to spend a little too much (or a lot too much) around Christmas, and play "catch up" in January.
I don't even think that's a possibility anymore.
The money-our economy-just isn't there.
Things have changed.
I personally know people who lost their job just before Christmas, and know of others who expect to lose theirs at the first of next year.
Not good, not good at all.
I'm not trying to bring everybody down-I just hope we can realize exactly what we're facing, and put things in the proper context.
Yep, we've been kind of a spoiled society with our over 100 channels of television entertainment, our video/camera/internet-ready cell phones, portable DVD players and such.
I've always wondered if maybe we, as a society, grew too fast for our own good.
Take if from someone who has been humbled (A LOT) lately.
If you and your family/friends are healthy and happy, well, that's really what matters.
And if you don't believe me, then you can read all about in this book I've been reading.
It's called the Bible...