I was a little surprised when I saw the results of a new BabyCenter Holiday Survey, which showed that moms plan to spend 32% more on gifts this holiday season.

Really? I’m not. If anything, I’ll be spending less on gifts this season. I know, sounds sacrilegious to say that on “Cyber Monday.”

Maybe it’s because I quit my job in September and started freelancing from home. We’re quite a bit shorter on cash than we were last year.

But I also am thinking of my friends and family, many of whom have tighter budgets for various reasons. Shelling out $25, $30 or more per person to get random stuff (another bath and body gift set? candles? books I don’t have time to read?) just seems so wasteful — and hard on anyone who’s hurting for money right now.

Hubs and I decided to make a few “gentleman’s agreements” (or should it be “gentleperson’s agreements”?) with our close friends and family: No gifts for the grownups this year. Yeah, that’s right. Are you shocked? Horrified? Thinking I’m the Second Coming of Scrooge?

I’m really just trying to save everyone money and hassle. Photos and cards are always appreciated, of course — especially of those we don’t get to see much. You want to bake us some cookies? I won’t complain (hard to do when your mouth is full of cookies). Here’s an idea: Watch my kids for an evening so Hubs and I can go out for a date. And I would love to do the same for you — or something equivalent that doesn’t cost lots of dough but shows how much I care.

This holiday season, I want to focus on what truly matters: family, friendship, gratitude for the good things in life, delight, twinkly lights, maybe some snow if we’re lucky. If that makes me a Scrooge, well, I guess all I can say is “Bah humbug!”

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