It seems like pictures of kids at Disney on Ice, The Wiggles in concert, or Sesame Street Live are constantly popping up on Facebook. Smiling images of kids in costume, holding a $7 ice cream sandwich and $12 light-up toy are everywhere. Except on my page.
Our family is saying “No” to Disney on Ice, and all the rest. At least for a while.
I started looking into everyone’s favorite on-ice show, Frozen, and was surprised to see that tickets were only $27. Each. For seats so far from the ice we’d be watching the whole show on a screen. That’s $81 to watch the show on tv. Hmmm. Plus parking and gas, 1 1/2 hours of driving (one way), tolls, food and the obligatory souvenir… Oy vey.
This affordable night out was going to end up costing somewhere around $200. And all for a show 4-year-old Miss O may or may not remember. No thanks.
Does that mean we’re not going to do anything special together? No way! We’re just aiming for different experiences right now.
3 Questions I Ask Before Making Plans for My Family
Can we afford it? Nobody likes asking this question, but the fact is, we can’t afford everything we want all the time. Our last name isn’t Gates. Sometimes that means saying no to something fun, or saying yes to part of it, like going to the show, but skipping the meet and greet party. And the fact is, if we can’t afford it, the other questions don’t matter.
Is it a memory worth making? Assuming we have the money (up front) to pay for this activity, is it worth that money? Is this a memory that we will cherish? Obviously there’s some risk here. Sometimes what seems like a great event turns out to be… meh. But when considering all the factors, is this a memory we want to make? In our house things that involve family get priority over things that involve celebrities or characters because those are the memories we want to have forever.
Is it going to be fun for all of us? Miss O is still young and it’s safe to assume that many of the things we do together are going to be forgotten by her. So if she forgets, will our memory be a happy one? Mr. O and I don’t really care about Frozen on Ice, or The Wiggles. Of course Miss O’s enjoyment would give us pleasure, but we want to have fun, too.
This is not to say it’s easy to say no to things. And social media can make it even harder when it seems like everyone but you is doing something cool.
But we do have 2 things going for us right now.
First, and this is truly awesome, Miss O hasn’t learned that she can ask for things yet. She doesn’t ask for toys in the store, food at the supermarket, or things she sees in commercials. It’s heaven and I’m milking it for all it’s worth.
Second, Mr. O and I are generally on the same page when it comes to how and where to spend our money. We will have occasional disagreements, but neither of us cares much about keeping up with the Jones’ or the Kardashians or anybody else.
How do you decide which special events to splurge on? Share in the comments.