The Everything Personal Finance Christmas.

It’s Christmas.

We are in Texas.

It’s the 23rd.

Adam has received a copy of the Carol Burnett’s book from the person he’s giving a copy of Carol Burnett’s book to.

The garbage disposal has been fixed.

The family photo has been taken.

Two more things for the day.


As all of you’ve seen.  Adam and I wore very sweet Christmas sweaters at our party.  We had every intention of wearing them for his families gathering in Texas.  It had already been discussed.


Adam’s cousin Laura sends out an email saying that everyone should wear an ugly Christmas sweater.


Now it wouldn’t be as fun.

So we took our sweaters and we wore them.

And I have to say that our sweaters were hands down the ugliest, tackiest Christmas attire there.

Except for Adam’s dad.

Adam’s stepmom had taken a long sleeve sweatshirt and sewn on reindeer in an arc across the chest.  She’d then taken felt and made a collar because everyone knows that Adam’s father never wears a shirt without a collar.

I’d post pictures but his dad threatened death on anyone that even thought about pointing a camera in his direction.

On the night of the 23rd we exchanged presents with his dad and stepmom.

I think it’s awesome they buy presents at all for me.  The fact they buy gifts that are for both of us is equally nice.


I actually don’t remember what we gave them.   A Christmas ornament.  A photo of Adam, his dad and his grandfather that was taken last Christmas.  A butter bell.  A shirt.

I haven’t been very good at offering gift buying advice because I really didn’t know them.  I think I’ll be of more help next year.

They got us:

Shirts that we promptly returned the next day.

Some other things that I can’t think of right now.

And new Bose speakers so that we can finally get rid of the huge 1992 speakers that are in our living room.

Overall they were great gifts.

Much better than LAST years gift.  (We got more than one.  But forever till the day I die will only remember the ONE gift that we received.  I stopped blogging about Christmas last year so I never got to it.)

Better late than never.

So we open gifts last year.

They gave me a couple of shirts.  They gave “us” a box of pots and pans. (We exchanged them for new sheets, and other stuff on our way home).

And they gave us a couple of books.

About personal finance.  This was accompanied with an explanation of the gift.  (I’m a firm believer that if the gift has to be explained then it shouldn’t be given in the first place).

I’m pretty sure that we got more than one.  I can only find one right now.

It’s called:  The Everything Personal Finance In Your 20’s and 30’s book.  2nd Edition.  With post it notes highliting what she thought were the important parts of the book.  You can get budget form at  The book still has the post it notes in it.

I was offended by the book the minute it was opened.  I was REALLY offended the more his step mom explained.  And to make it worse, she went on and on and on and on and on and on.

I sat there seething.

I learned at a very early age to smile and “love” the present I was opening.  I had many Christmases where I got things I didn’t want.  Things that were poor substitutes to the thing I wanted.  We didn’t have a lot of money.  My parents tried, usually unsuccessfully to give us the presents we wanted.  While I was smiling appreciatively my brother was screaming, “This is not the one I wanted.”  This is actually another post for another day.

Long story short…I smiled and nodded and tried not to look pissed.

And the explaining continued and continued and continued.

Now in fairness.  Adam has not always been the best at managing his money.  His family knows that.  Of course the first line of the book is about erasing your debt and Adam has exactly ZERO debt so the book has missed the mark from the very beginning.  But they know nothing of my financial situation.  NOTHING.  So for them (the stepmother) to sit there and tell me how to manage my finances was more than a little offensive.

I bit my tongue.  Smiled.

And the minute we were done I went to the bedroom, shut the door and told Adam exactly what I thought.  I was pissed.  VERY pissed.  Who the fuck did she think she was.  Pissed.

He calmed me down, tried to smooth things over, and kept telling me that she meant well.  I wasn’t having it, but I realized that I was putting him in the situation of having to defend them while supporting me and that was not fair.

So I let it go.  Sort of.  As you can tell, I still get irate when I think about it.

This year we got better gifts.

I didn’t get angry this year.

Well at least not until later.

I just found the other book.  It’s called You’re broke because you want to be…It also has post-its in.  One of them is on a chapter called “Journal.”  I don’t think my blog is exactly what she had in mind when she said journal.


2 thoughts on “The Everything Personal Finance Christmas.

  1. Lemuel January 6, 2011 / 08:28

    I was reading along, enjoying (as usual) the romp through your life, when I got to the paragraph that begins “I learned at a very early age to smile and ‘love’ the present I was opening.”
    In that paragraph you are describing every Christmas of my youth from as far back as I can remember in the early 1950’s through my high school years in the early/mid 1960’s. I know how hard my parents tried to give my sister and I “good” Christmases, but they simply could not. I learned early to be thankful for what little I had been given even though inside I cried at the gifts that were a far cry from what I wanted.

  2. Peter January 6, 2011 / 19:08

    I agree with Lemuel, I also smiled at the gifts I got on Saint Nick’s Day [in my country that’s December 5]. Since December 25 is my birthday… I was a bit more lucky then the rest of us.

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