Each Black Friday, my mother and I, like so many other people, hit the stores in search of deals. This year was no different - at least on the surface.
We picked up a replacement printer and a needed gift for my husband (which I won't disclose here). Then we ducked into a drugstore to pick up some toiletries that were on the buy one - get a rebate deals.
And then temptation struck.
On the shelf was a plug-and-go game system. Set very cheap in price - and I'm sure the quality was as such - it might be a good idea for my daughter, who asks routinely about Wiis like her friends have.
And for 10 minutes, I stared at the toy, let her play with it, and debated. It was only $20, after all.
But there's something about sticking to your guns. And long ago, well before we became parents, we decided that we'd not bring a game system into our house. And a few years back, we'd decided to stick to three gifts from us: Partly because of the Three Wise Men, and partly because of the chaos we'd seen from friends desperately trying to match the number and dollar amount of gifts for each child.
And, thanks to some clearance sales as stores ushered in new things, we had already selected our three gifts each. The game system stayed on the shelf, forgotten within minutes. Not a word has been said about it since.
There's something freeing about setting limits. There's no discussion, no worrying, no regrets later. No credit card bills to pay off in months to come. No extra clutter to mess with.
Today, I'm simply thankful for the gift of the three gifts.