Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Is it bad to ask for toilet paper for Christmas?

For starters, I am usually AWESOME at making my Christmas Wish List. I know, I know, this is not a talent many possess… but I am lucky enough to be blessed in this area. Every year, in early December, my Mom, my Dad, my Boyfriend, etc. ask me for my Christmas Wish List. Ideas flow like beer at a keg party, and my list is perfected in a matter of hours.

I know how to include the three basic types of presents. First, the large items, the probably-won’t-get-it-but-might-as-well-add-it items. (With the added benefit of making the presents in the next group look more reasonable.) Second, the really-really-want-it-good-chance-I’ll-get-it items. And lastly, the gift cards, which double as a list of stores the gift giver should shop at if they are uninspired.

It’s a science.

To my horror, when the time to make my lists came, I sat staring at a blank paper. You see, this year I have become obsessed with everything financial. I am budgeting my brains out. I no longer go to Target for fun. I have drastically cut back on wasteful spending. I am on an anti-clutter kick (a much needed anti-clutter kick).

Wouldn’t you think this would mean I have a wish list a mile long?? Wouldn’t you think that I would run to the stores I have been avoiding and scribble down my list furiously??? It turns out that not only are my actions changing, but my mindset as well. I think I am starting to actually become a frugal person. I guess this is the silver lining to losing my “Christmas Wish List” expertise!

The first thing I could think of for my Christmas List was a “useful” basket. A basket filled with garbage bags, ziplock bags, shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, contact solution, paper towels, dish detergent, laundry detergent…. And even toilet paper. Yes, I’ve said it out loud. I want toilet paper for Christmas. How nice would it be to not have to shop for these things for a couple months?!?!

When I thought of getting clothes for Christmas, it just made me think of the bin of clothes cluttering up my back room that I have been meaning to donate to Goodwill.

Maybe I should ask for some DVDs, I thought to myself. But what about the new Blue Ray and HD DVD technology coming out? Won’t it be a waste to buy DVDs if I’ll just have to replace them in a few years?

I used to change the “theme” of my bedroom every year. When I thought of choosing a new theme and perhaps getting a new comforter, I thought about how my current comforter is in great shape. The one I have is JUST FINE. And so is my current mp3 player, TV(s), DVD player, etc, etc, etc, etc!!!

Oh the horror this brought me. I was stumped.

It took me awhile but I finally came up with a decent Christmas Wish List. I admitted to my mother that I wanted toilet paper for Christmas. She gets me, so she is going to do some bulk shopping and get me my “useful” basket. She is amused by my new frugal tendencies.

I also thought a couple other things that weren’t too embarrassing to put on my Christmas list, but were useful as well. I would love to have the new Photoshop software. I could really use some new running shoes. A craft table would help me be more organized. I could use some more baking supplies. Art supplies would definitely not go to waste. I would love love love a couple personal training sessions at my gym, and these would take up no space in my apartment! For my gift cards I picked places that would be useful for day to day things, like Target, Grocery Stores, and Gas Stations.

My Christmas Wish List has definitely changed since last year, but in the end, it is a list I can be proud of... the new, frugal me.


Henry N said...

Congratulations!!! :) This post demonstrates a real transformation, one, as you indicated, not of mere behavior, but of something deeper and more powerful, a change of attitude, outlook and mindset.

Frugality frees people in two ways: First, by freeing one of debt and debilitating financial practices. But, more importantly, it liberates one from mindless, empty and, ultimately, destructive appetites.

Are you an ascetic? No, you cherish the material things that make your life better. But you have found an appreciation for materialism that steers clear of hedonism.

I've often wondered, if the best things in life are free, why are people so damned focused on the things that are not? By achieving a frugal mindset, you'll now be able to spend time and energy on the things that really matter.

Again, congratulations!

- Henry

4Life said...

Wonderful post! Thanks for sharing it. I plan to include your article in my weekly carnival review this Friday.

Best Wishes,

Bill Cabot said...

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Enjoy :O)

Catherine said...

Okay, I just stumbled onto your blog, and I'm so glad I did. I can sympathize. I also empathize. My husband and I made the fatal errors that many make - high-interest credit card, paying WAY more on rent than we should without considering the costs we would be facing with college loans, car payments, etc. I've started blogging our experiences, as well - specifically, our attempts to budget and save up to buy our first home. So, I'm glad to see someone else who discusses these things, not to mention someone who sees the value of toilet paper for Christmas! People look at me like I'm crazy when I say I want grocery/gas gift cards, housewares, and paper towels in bulk. At least there's someone else out there who understands! Best of luck!!!