We might have splurged a little this past Christmas.
Mostly we gave books, which were, mostly, purchased at a local new & used book, music, and movie chain store, but I also put together a "Winter Survival Kit" for my adult children and their families. It included books, pajamas (or fuzzy socks) and mugs (for coffee, tea, or cocoa).
When it comes to my children still at home, though, we sometimes go a little overboard. Certainly, we didn't spend more than we have, and we did budget for some more expensive gifts this season.
One, in particular, was a thrill to give, and now that she's had it for a few weeks, we are so (SO) very happy that we spent the little extra to get it for her.
Little Fire Faery began taking violin lessons when she was eight or nine years old. She still plays the violin, and like with her dance shoes, as she's gotten older, she has outgrown them and needed the next larger size. We've made sure that she has the size that is appropriate and comfortable for her.
Thing is, she really likes music, and she's good. We got a banjo for her for her birthday a few years ago, after she'd mentioned that she would like to learn to play one. She also has a small drum set we were given.
In the fall last year, she started plucking around with her sister's ukulele, and I mentioned to Deus Ex Machina that we should look for a ukulele for her. There are so many options for ukuleles these days. Tiny soprano ukuleles in fun colors. Concert sized ones with neat designs cut into the body. Acoustic electric versions. I even met a man at the music camp this past summer who had a ukulele-sized bass - a REAL bass instrument. He said he bought it, because it was easier to carry to gigs than the upright bass.
Around Christmas, a locally-owned music shop that resells used instruments had an eight-string ukulele. We talked to our music teacher, who said "Why not?!"
And that's what she got for Christmas.
Last night, she and I started looking at this song, and we're thinking, maybe a family ensemble featuring the ukuleles for the Spring music recital might be fun.
The thing is, being uber frugal is good, but sometimes, at least for us, investing money in things that we love and that will enrich our lives makes more sense. For my family, it's musical instruments, and we have quite a few.
What's interesting, to me, is that in many of those post-apocalyptic/dystopian future novels, the characters lament not having music.
Maybe that's why my family has been so eager to build our musical instrument library. When TEOTWAWKI finally does arrive, my family could earn a few loaves of bread and maybe a bottle or two of mead by playing at people's weddings.
Or, we could just play, as a family, because playing music is free entertainment (the ultimate in frugality) after one has acquired the instrument.
What atypical end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it equipment does your family splurge on?