POLL RESULTS: How Much Do You Spend On Each Of Your Children At Christmas?

Well, the poll has been up for a little more than one month and we have had 25 votes.  Here are the results:

POLL RESULTS: How Much Do You Spend On Each Of Your Children At Christmas?

Momma did all the shopping this year, like always, so I’m not sure how much we actually spent on Ace, but I would guess it was in the $101-$200 group.

So, it looks like we are right in there with the majority of parents!  I feel better now. 🙂

Bah Humbug!

I love the holiday season. All of the gift giving, the snow starts falling, the family get togethers, and the free food. I’m so excited for Ace to have his first Christmas, and want to make it special and memorable. But the holidays are not all fun and games. There are a few of things I dislike about the holidays.

  1. Spending Money – I am a tight wad. I admit it openly. If there is one thing I hate, it is spending money. Now don’t get me wrong. I like to buy gifts for everyone, but I don’t think we should spend as much as we do. The problem is that we go to see so many different places and see so many different people on Christmas and everyone buys for us, so we feel obligated to buy for everyone else. Our combined family is BIG! After buying gifts for visits to my Grandma and Grandpa in-law’s, then to my Mom’s, then to my Mother and Father in-law’s, then to my Grandmas, then to my Dad’s, and finally our own Christmas gift giving celebration…we are BROKEBROKE. Done. Cooked. Burnt!


  2. Preparation – All the running around to different stores, putting things in lay-a-way, paying on the lay-a-way, getting out the decorations from the basement, wrapping the gifts, and coordinating all of the family gatherings so that it is convenient for everyone. Mentally exhausting!
  3. Taking Up Precious Time – There are only two things that I don’t have enough of…money and time. It’s hard enough during a non-holiday month to get caught up with all of my regular responsibilities in order to have some free time to have some fun. Not only do we have to allot time for everything in #1 and #2, we also have to allot time for consuming two full days of the month…the 24th and 25th. With 31 full days in December, after subtracting all of the time preparing for the holidays, it feels like I have five whole days left in the month to be productive.
  4. Pretending To Like Gifts – I know I am not the easiest person to buy for. I already have a lot and don’t ask for much, but why would you waste your money on something totally useless? If you don’t know what to buy for me…buy lottery tickets. $$$
  5. pink-elephant.pngThe Drama – There is always drama somewhere. Never fails. One family member is not getting along with another family member and there is always tension in the room. This kind of things just eats me up! Everyone is usually civil, but there is always that pink elephant sitting on the couch next to me. Pink elephants look cuddly, but are vicious wild creatures! Beware!
  6. The Pass Me Around Game – I personally don’t mind for everyone to want to hold Ace and play with him, but Ace can not stand it. Ace and large groups of people tossing him around the room like a hot potato do not get along. He gets over stimulated, worn out, and downright cranky. No amount of formula, rocking, swinging, tickling, or funny faces can calm him down. The only thing we can do is bear the grumpiness until he runs out of energy and passes out. 😀

Looking back on my list I notice that all six things can be summed up into four broad categories…

  1. Lack Of Money
  2. Lack Of Time
  3. Stupid People
  4. Crying Babies

I’m going to try real hard to not let these things get in the way of everybody having a good time and enjoying the holidays, but it’s going to be a challenge…now where is that egg nog?

The Price of Happiness

I was going through my feed reader today and came across a very well written post written by Adam Purcell of WheresTheInstructions.com titled “For The Next Generation,” and it got me thinking about a few things…

Adam’s sums up his post using this one sentence…

“This is one of the greatest calls of a father, to realise the world my daughter grows up in, is the one I make for her.”

What kind of world do you want to make for your child? Do you want your children to have all of the things that you didn’t have? Do you want them to have more?

I want Ace to have more than I did growing up, but I want to make sure he also gets the things that I did. I could bust my butt and work seven days a week and give him everything he ever wanted…except for one thing…a Dad.

While I would love for Ace to have every thing he ever wanted, I think it is more important for him to be happy. I think it is more important that he have an involved Mom and Dad. I think it is more important that he is smothered in love.

Just remember…the world that we make for our children is not made up of just physical things that money can buy. It is also made up of something that money can’t buy….friends and family.

In my opinion, a person can buy every thing they ever wanted, but they won’t be truly happy unless they have true friends and a loving family.

POLL: How Much Do You Spend On Each Of Your Children At Christmas?

Christmas is coming soon. Therefore Christmas shopping is right around the corner. This will be Ace’s first Christmas, and our first Christmas with a kid. I have plenty of questions…

  1. What do I buy him?
  2. Will he like the presents?
  3. How much do I spend on him?
  4. etc, etc…

I’m just curious what everyone else spends on their children, so I’ve created DadThing’s first Poll.

I know it will probably be different for each family…their financial situation, how many children they have, and the age of their children. However, I think it would be very interesting to see what other families do…


Do Kids Affect The Car You Buy?

I’ve always driven a truck except for the past few years. I bought a Ford Ranger 5 or 6 years ago and my wife bought a Ford Taurus. When I took on this last job we switched vehicles…she drove the Ranger and I drove the Taurus.

I have never liked the Taurus, but drove it because I couldn’t drive the Ranger for work. It was too small. I carry tools and luggage on a regular basis and it just wouldn’t fit.

When we had Ace, we traded in the Ranger on a Ford Explorer. The Ranger was not big enough for all three of us. Plus it is not safe to have a car seat in the front seat. And I stuck with the Taurus.

The Taurus finally started to show it’s age. We bought the car with 13,000 miles and it now has 127,000 miles. It was a great car. I never put the first part on it. Just the routine brake pads, tires, and oil changes. Recently the check engine light came on, it didn’t like to start all of the time, and sometimes would almost die when accelerating hard. So we decided that it i time for me to get a new vehicle.

I hate buying a new vehicle. I hate car salesmen. I hate the whole sales approach thing. How hard is it really? I told them what we were looking for, how many miles it needed to have, how old it could be, what we could pay per month, how much we could put down, and how long the loan term could be. All they needed to do was show us the right vehicle.

Sounds simple, right? Wrong! Our salesman found us the “perfect” truck.  I liked it.  He assured us it met all of our criteria. We took the truck on an overnight test drive and I fell in love with it.  We went back the next day and they couldn’t meet all of my criteria.

Finally after many hours of visiting car lots and negotiating with the dealers we found the perfect truck.

Now that we have Ace, we had to consider a few more things. Will a car seat fit? How would the vehicle do in an accident? Would it be safe?

The biggest challenge for us was finding a truck that would fit a car seat. Trucks with big extended cabs or quad cabs tend to be pricey! However after being very persistent we did find the perfect truck that met all of our criteria…

We are the proud owners of a 2004 Dodge Ram 1500 SLT 4×4…

2004 Doge Ram 1500 SLT 4×4

2004 Doge Ram 1500 SLT 4×4

Happy birthday to me!