The Frugal Father In-Law: The Christmas Spectacular

I'm at my in-laws for the holidays now and my frugal father in-law has pleasantly surprised me with a few instant classics!


The Hot Water
In an effort to save pennies on his gas stove bill, he came to the conclusion that the water was not coming to a boil fast enough because the pot was too far away from the flames. So he removed the grill (that the pot actually sits upon) and sets the pot awkwardly onto the circle plate where the flames shoot out of. Never mind that the water was sloshing side-to-side, about to tip the whole pot over onto the floor... dollars are being saved here!!!


The Heat
He never turns on the central heat - ever - even while his poor 85 year old mother is in town. Instead, he relies solely on a wood burning stove for heat. Never mind that the poor ol' lady is freezing her little bones off... Another day, another dollar.


The Hot Chocolate
In an effort to add humidity to the dry winter air, he sets a very old tea pot on top of the wood burning stove. Ignoring the fact that it's a bit rusty inside, he saves his pennies by using the hot water for his cup of hot chocolate or earl grey tea so that the microwave doesn't eat up his precious schillings...


The Christmas Tree
There is certainly no ceremonial tree buying, that's for sure. He just goes out into the woods in the backyard and chops down the closest thing resembling a Christmas tree. Another dollar saved.

The Turkey
After dinner he puts the turkey in the garage for an hour to cool it down so that the refrigerator does not consume extra energy - he's a true maverick in his time.


The Movie
A Christmas tradition is to watch "A Christmas Carol" with George C. Scott. In a classic "missing the point" moment, his favorite line of the movie is:

"These are garments, Mr. Cratchit. Garments were invented by the human race as a protection against the cold. Once purchased, they may be used indefinitely for the purpose for which they are intended. Coal burns. Coal is momentary and coal is costly."

Every year, like clockwork, he reminds my wife: "Ya' hear that??!!?"


Ahhh the holidays...hope yours are as fun as mine!

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