Christmas Inflation

By Pam Young

‘Make It Fun’

Are funds a little tight this holiday season? Would you like to save money, but still make happy memories your family will never forget? Just because money is tight, doesn’t mean your creativity is in a recession. Now’s the time to call on it to kick in and come to your rescue. Here’s something I did one Christmas and it just might give you an idea or two. This one particular year when I was a single parent and didn’t have very much money to spend on Christmas, I got the idea to fill the living room with balloons to cover up the fact that there weren’t many presents under the tree. The idea to make Christmas morning seem more spectacular than it really was cost me a package of 100 multi-colored balloons. Christmas Eve After the kids were fast asleep, I began my Christmas Eve blow-up. I blew until I’d get dizzy, take a break and get some air and blow some more. The room began to look very festive and I was quite pleased that my idea was going to work! However, halfway into the project, I made the terrible mistake of letting Suki (our big white-with-black-dots cat) in for the night. Suki was a year old and had never seen balloons before. Much to my surprise when he came into the living room, he was fascinated by their floating action. He ran at a cluster of the hollow balls and the air from his rush sent them bobbing across the carpet like a flock of fat, flying pigs. Like a lioness picking out the tastiest looking antelope in the herd, he singled out a plump pink specimen and went for its jugular. BANG! When it exploded, he jumped straight up in the air and I thought that the shock of the blast would cut short his new found sport! But when his feet hit the floor he had a new sense of resolve and took off toward another victim. This time he captured a purple casualty holding his hostage as far away from his face as possible, as he shut his eyes and instead of using his fangs to pop it, he slowly injected his deadly, retractable claws into its tight body. BANG! The plum flesh quivered and then went still. Instantly he set his keen eye on another target. He crouched down, did the classic, wiggle-butt-before-pounce move and leaped onto an innocent yellow globe that was minding its own business in a chair. I watched in amazement as this feline mass murderer knocked off another balloon. If I hadn’t arrested him and put him in the laundry room for the night, he would’ve cleared the room of my blow-up Christmas. With Suki safely put away for the night, I finished my project and went to bed. I was so excited for the next morning. When the kids came into the living room filled with almost a hundred colorful balloons, they were blown away by the spectacle, but I knew there was another surprise for them. I brought Suki in and we all watched with delight, the serial balloon killer as he decimated the room of the colorful filler. To this day, my adult children don’t remember how bleak that Christmas was. They just remember Suki and the balloons. For more from Pam Young go to You’ll find many musings, videos of Pam in the kitchen preparing delicious meals, videos on how to get organized, lose weight and get your finances in order, all from a reformed slob’s point of view.


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