I must apologize to the nation. Perhaps, even the world.
My family could single-handedly bring this economy to a complete halt. You see, we are not buying each other any presents this year. I know, it's quite shocking.
For those that are not in the know. The six of us - Mom, Dad, Bro, SIL, Me, Mike - tend to go a little nuts when it comes to giving each other gifts. For a few years, I would rack up the credit cards at Christmas, and then pay them off throughout the year. Now I'm smarter. I use my Amex Blue Cash all year long for every purchase possible, so I can get the cash back. We get quite a bit back, which I then use to pay for Christmas stuff.
One year, for example, we all gave each other a Playstation2. That same year, I got a Sony MiniDV camcorder. And those were just 2 of my gifts. I'll have to find some pictures of underneath our tree, cuz it's one of those things you have to see to believe. A couple years ago, we caught a clue, and decided we needed to tame it down. So, we tried to put a limit on how much we could spend per person ($150). My mom hated that. She, of course, did not stay within that budget. Then last year we tried doing a secret santa sort of thing. We still had the same limit of $150, but each person only had one person to buy for. Mom still didn't quite stay within her budget, but she did get better. She was insanely frustrated by her inability to buy for both of her kids, since she had gotten someone else. Last year, we put all the names in the hat, and pulled them again for this year.
Then my brother had to go and move to North Carolina, and my mom went off on her boss and tendered her resignation as of Jan. 1. With those particularly strenuous financial situations, we decided to do no gifts at all this year. Considering the loot I generally walk away with, you'd think I might take this decision hard. Fret not. I was actually suddenly very excited.
I don't have to buy any gifts. I just have to get my butt to Virginia to visit my family, and that's that. How freakin' awesome is that?
But, to my fellow Americans and Earthlings.... I do apologize for what this could do to our economy :D