Shopping for School Clothes Was Demanding

A mother of five remembers the financial challenges of school clothes shopping.

Christmas Gifts

While they are certainly not the main reason for the season, everyone enjoys seeing beautifully wrapped gifts under the Christmas tree.

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Autumn means stepping out of the warm, flip-flop-wearing, carefree months of summer. Its cooler temperatures encourage long sweaters and jeans rather than shorts and tank tops.

Several years back, I was met with a genuine, demanding chore. It glared its “ha-ha-here-I-am” attitude in my direction, and there I was, stuck in autumn facing a financial instead of laborious chore.

We raised five children. The parenting process was an ongoing state of happy chaos, medical essentials, sibling disagreements, attention-getting dramas, the complete growing-up adventure.

Then in walked autumn, and with it came the need for school clothes shopping so the kids would have outfits for school. This was a time-consuming and costly, yet predictable, task.

Christmas lay but three months away. To be prepared for the holiday with its gift-giving tradition, a layaway plan was essential. If I didn’t set gifts aside, making payments a little at a time, Christmas gifts would not make it to our house.

The charm with which I met that chore was challenging, but I championed this chief choice with considerable character. I now cherish that autumn’s chore with fond memories and a chuckle.

Elouise
Beaver Dams, New York

Read more stories about autumn chores in Autumn Farm Work: The Best and Worst Chores