After a lovely Thanksgiving weekend, as we dropped one of my daughters off at school, my son saw one of my daughter’s university buddies playing Guitar Hero on a PS/2 (evidently at University, the kids “rough it” by using 1 generation back technology), and my son was enthralled by the site of this game. His hand eye co-ordination was such that he couldn’t get the hang of the guitar, however, he remembered that we had a PS/2 in our basement, collecting dust, and I was ordered to set it up for him (well, it sounded like an order, I think he said please).
Previously Enjoyed Toys
Setting up the game was easier than I remember, as the TV we use for my son had a spare AVI port (you know that old Red White and Yellow cable we used to use on tube tvs?) and for the rest of the day my son was enjoying Simpson’s Road Rage (although he likes to play Air Guitar Hero (you walk around with the “guitar” acting like you are playing the game).
This all got me thinking that with my son, and how he has had many regifted toys over his life (he has Teletubbies, Tickle Me Elmo and a Tutter from his sisters and many other older toys) and seems no worse for wear for me not spending many dollars on toys. I remember the amount of pain my wife went through to get those toys new (the Tickle Me Elmo craze was a scary time), and I am happy that they can actually be enjoyed again.
You do realize that Christmas is coming in a while, are you going to buy your kids or grandkids a bunch of toys, that may end up locked in a closet one day? What if you put some money in an RESP for them, or in trust for when they get older? Does old money get locked in a closet ?
By the time you read this, the mayhem that is Boxing Day will have already begun. People will have stayed up most of the night trying to get bargains or reasons to spend any money they got for Christmas, but keep this piece of advice in mind (from our friends at Bro Tips):
Keep this in mind
and also remember my advice from a while back too:
Also very True
Spend wisely and Respect Each Other
The people working today, are there to serve you, but that doesn’t mean you get to treat them like dirt, show them respect and thank them for being there today.
A Happy and Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones from THE Canadian Personal Finance Site (Big Cajun Man sole proprietor).
Yup this is my actual Christmas Tree
Hope you are ready for Christmas, because it’s pretty much here. You have one more day to get those last things you think you needed. Many people travel today, while some have the tradition of the major celebration for Christmas being tonight (after midnight mass), how ever you celebrate I hope you enjoy it.
A few last-minute tips:
- Remember to have your bills paid as banks are “closed” for the next couple of days.
- Given the bad weather we have been having, make sure you have more than half a tank of gas in your car (usually a good idea in the winter anyhow).
- If you are out shopping today, remember everyone is stressed, but if you don’t succumb to the mayhem, you will be a better person at the end of it. Same holds true with your family as well.
- This is a festival of joy and celebration, always remember that.
And always remember:
One of the “traditions” many families do every Christmas is play Elf on the Shelf with their children. The “game” consists of buying a book, which has an Elf included with it. The parents put the Elf on the Shelf in different places, and the children must go find him (her?).
Should you wish to buy an Elf, here is a link
Evidently this Elf on the Shelf goes back to the North Pole every night and reports back to Santa if the kids have been naughty or nice (think of it like Santa’s version of the NSA). To me this is a pretty darn creepy looking elf, and I am not really sure what it is teaching our kids, but if you read the Wikipedia entry for the game you might get a hint.
Suppose we had a Financial Elf on the Shelf™ might that help us control our Festive Christmas Spending? Better still how about this idea, knowing how our friend Gail Vaz-Oxlade hates over-spending, how about a Financial Gail on the Shelf™?
If every time you came back from shopping there was a small Gail Vaz-Oxlade waiting for you, that simply said, “What did you buy this time? Could you afford that?”, and every night she went back and reported to “Santa” on whether you were good financially or not? (and if you were naughty Santa cut up your credit cards).
Better still, the Gail on the Shelf can also go into your wallet and replace your credit cards with cards that say, “You Cannot Afford this!” and a picture of Gail wagging her finger?
An Excellent Photo for the Replacement Credit Cards
I think I could make a pretty penny selling this (of course I’d have to give Gail royalties as well). Have I missed the point on this odd new Christmas “tradition”?