DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: When things slowed down because of the pandemic, my wife and I decided it was time to sell our upholstery business and retire. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the price we had hoped for, and that means we are needing to budget more than we expected in most areas of our life, including Christmas gifts.
We have eight grandchildren, and in the past we were able to spend about $100 each on them, splitting it up between something to go under the tree, and something for their stocking, either cash or gift cards, depending on their age and interests. This time around, we can only comfortably do about half that, and we feel bad about it, especially my wife, who is racking her brain to figure how to continue doing both a cash/gift card, and an openable gift.
We have not yet said anything to our own kids, because it does not seem to be their problem. But I have begun to think we should clue them in so that they can give the grandkids a little warning.
Do you think we should raise the issue with them, or just let it all roll out as it will? --- GRAMPS ON A BUDGET
DEAR GRAMPS ON A BUDGET: I think it wouldn’t be a bad idea to let your own children know that things have changed now that you and your wife are retired. Although, my guess is they’ve already figured out that things would likely be changing for you.
You and your wife seem like very generous grandparents. But you also have to be realistic about your new situation. Hopefully, you’ll have a long, healthy retirement, and there seems to be no cause to put yourself in an uncomfortable spot financially during the holidays; and you shouldn’t feel guilty about not splurging as you formerly did. Depending on how old your grandchildren are, they may be either too young to notice anything’s different, or old enough to understand that the amount spent on them once a year is not a reflection of how much you care about them.