My Christmas Present

Christmas day is always pretty special. Other than the religious reasons, it’s special because you get to see what gifts you received. It’s extra special when you have kids and see the excitement in their faces when they unwrap their gifts. I think this year was the first year that my four year old truly understood and was excited about the holiday season. He would countdown every time we turned on the Christmas tree lights. He was excited to see the lights and decorations as we drove or walked past other houses. He was waiting in anticipation for Santa to arrive and asked that we give him a key to our apartment as we didn’t have a chimney. However, he had second thoughts about having a stranger in the house and asked if I could leave a note for Santa to leave the presents outside the door instead!

Christmas morning started off wonderfully. My four year old was ecstatic with his gifts. My 17 month old was actually able to tear into the wrapping paper this year. We were having family over for dinner and I had some last minute errands to run. When I went out to my car, which was parked on the street, I see that somebody had slammed into the bumper. I’m assuming they were parking their car when they slammed into it, but I’m still perplexed as to how you back in at that angle and at that speed to cause that damage. Probably someone who was drunk after partying on Christmas Eve since the car was fine when I left it there around midnight.

I was very upset and annoyed that I had to deal with this on Christmas day. Fortunately, the claims process with Geico was pretty quick and painless. The police also came pretty quickly for a non-emergency to complete a police report. Although, I think the police officer probably looked at me like I was crazy when I asked if there were cameras around which might have caught the culprit (the car was parked on a big thoroughfare in a street filled with commercial stores). Obviously I’ve watched too many episodes of CSI. I’m sure no one is reviewing cameras for a hit-and-run of a parked vehicle.

When I returned home, I was telling my wife about the damage and the $500 deductible that we’d have to pay. My four year old overhead and must have been able to tell that I was upset. He said, “don’t worry papa, they can fix it.” Sometimes my four year old is smarter than me. Yea, I’d have to pay the $500 deductible and it is large sum of money, but something that we can afford. It would be much tougher if we were part of the “shocking number” of Americans who couldn’t afford a $400 expense. We were also fortunate that the accident occurred to our parked vehicle and no one was in it and injured. I did also take two days off from work while the car was being repaired since I didn’t want to deal with the hassle and expense of getting a rental car and installing car seats. I’m also lucky that my employer allowed me to take time off and I have paid annual leave to do so. Luckily, it was a quiet week at work, with most people taking time off anyway. Ultimately, taking two days off was a blessing in disguise as it was frigid those two days and I was able to stay home with the little ones, not having to schlep them off to and from grandma’s while I go to work.

So all in all, it was a mere inconvenience. I should be grateful for the financial position I’m in, the job that I have, and that it wasn’t all that bad. Nothing to get all bent out of shape about. It’s often much better to look at the cup as half full rather than half empty.

10 thoughts on “My Christmas Present

  1. Brian

    Sorry to hear this happened. Good for you for making the best of a bad situation. My daughter and I just had a conversation about people who don’t do the right thing. She sees some customers take advantage and steal small items at her P/T job. So just don’t have a moral compass. Happy New Year!
    Brian recently posted…Financial Steps to Take Before DivorceMy Profile

    1. Post author

      Thanks Brian and Happy New Year to you and your family also. It’s sad how many people lack that moral compass.

  2. Francis

    I accidentally found your blog & Im glad that I did. Reader from the Philippines here. This is why having a rainy day fund is very important. You can fix things & not worry about it. As someone who has been investing/saving for 15 years (because I started young) I know its far from easy especially if you’re surrounded by people who are spending left & right. There are so many temptations out there. But my ultimate goal is FIRE before forty that gas always bern my dream. Sorry that it happened to you on Christmas Day.

    1. Post author

      Thanks for commenting Francis. You’re right…it’s very important to have a rainy day fund/emergency fund for situations just like this. It definitely relieves a lot of stress when you have it. Good to hear that you’ve been investing and saving for 15 years…I’ve been doing that for the same time, after getting my first job. Awesome that you started young…and while it’s tough when you see other people spending like that, it will all be worth it! Hope you attain your goal of FIRE before 40!

  3. Francis

    When i started planning for early retirement the word FIRE didnt exist. I just knew dat I dont want 2 work forever or be concerned with money at all. Yes its so much worth it!!! Couldnt agree more but sadly having no savings/not investing is very common here in the Philippines. I always preach aka encourage (LOL) my friends to do da same but they are not getting it. As for my family we are all very good with (handling) money so Im very thankful 2 my parents for teaching us their kids that it doest grow on trees.

    1. Post author

      That’s great you had thought of FIRE early on. I always thought that I didn’t want to work until traditional retirement age but didn’t think there was any other path. I work in government so retirement at age 55 is possible and I just assumed that was as early as I could get. I’m also glad that my parents ingrained frugality in my head so I don’t waste money on the things many of my peers do.

  4. Owen @ PlanEasy

    That sucks about the accident! Crazy to think that most people would be in a tough position to pay a $500 deductible. We’ve always had a small emergency fund (a bit bigger now) and its incredible how much peace of mind that little sum of cash can give.

    Hopefully your new years starts off on a better note!

    PS. I also have children about the same age and they too really ‘got’ Christmas this year. Really fun to share their excitement.
    Owen @ PlanEasy recently posted…Break Bad Spending Habits: Do A No Spend MonthMy Profile


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