I used to Christmas shop all year to spread out the expense that would have been impossible to handle in one or two months. I spent hours and hours wrapping gifts and at least $75 mailing them to out-of-town family and friends. I used to give gifts to more than 75 people and I had a relatively small family! Some of those people received multiple gifts. I was exhausted when Christmas Day arrived.

14 years ago, I left my old life behind. My new family would end up being mostly Hispanic and from them I adopted the tradition that gifts are for the children. Adults might exchange some small, sentimental present, often homemade, but nothing expensive. Adults celebrate the holidays with parties, food, music, dancing.

This is a much better life.

Written by

I was always a writer but lived in a bookkeeper’s body before I found Medium and broke free — well, almost. Working to work less and write more.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store