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We Made it Again

I'm talking about "birthday" month.  Since April 24th, which was our son's 28th birthday, we've gone through 8 birthdays, our son and daughter-in-law's second anniversary and Mother's Day.  We will officially end this usual reign of financial terror next week when my husband's sister and our brother-in-law celebrate their anniversary.

Now fortunately, we don't "do" gifts for many of these special days, but we still did provide more than we really should have-really.  One of the birthday people didn't for the second time even say Thank You when we handed them the card.  Believe me; we will be seriously considering next year.

I was raised to believe that gifts were not mandatory and that no matter how disappointed you were in whatever you were given-no one had to remember your birthday and at the very least a nice acknowledgement was in order.

That's my rant on people who don't say Thank You.

I'm sure my husband and I are not alone in this need to prune our already meager "gift budget". This includes the "gift" to each other of having a date night.   It seems to be a big topic of conversation here in suburbia.   Because of the number of people I am in contact with, once I turn off the recorder and continue to gab with my new found friends, I hear a lot of catch phrases that include:

We've had to tell our relatives that we can't afford to do any gifts at the holidays.  Even doing a "pull out of the hat name" for one is too much.

Instead of going out to celebrate our birthdays or anniversary, we now just splurge on a nice steak and serve it with some inexpensive sides.  Our way of making a regular meal special?  We unwrap the china and silver and serve it on our wash and wear tablecloth.  

Since we've had either salary cuts or had to endure layoffs (possibly both), we've stopped our date night out-we have Netflix and make a bowl of popcorn.  It's actually better!  No phones going off, no stinking sticky seats, no people talking out loud or big hairdos getting in the way AND we can get up and have a bathroom break without missing any of the film any time we want and as many times as we need too!

Personally, we do the last-A LOT! My husband loves movies and I'm not able to sit for as long as the normal one takes, so we enjoy it more.  Plus, if the movie is horrible, we can turn it off and watch something on our DVR.  We no longer feel compelled to sit through 2 hours of torture because we paid over $24 to get into the theater.

This started off as my yearly "Birthdays Galore" column, but it ended up with my realizing that, honestly, life has become better by cutting back and learning that doing less, really is more.

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