It’s that time of the year again…Christmas. I can honestly say that I’m not here for the holiday foolishness this year, in the commercial sense. I’m ALWAYS here for the REAL reason for the season, Jesus. ‘
I’m not looking forward to the nonstop Christmas music, the shopping, people acting a fool at the stores, etc. It can be overwhelming. Our tree isn’t up and I have some random decorations in the dining room. No one seems to be bothered by it, so it’s ok with me. I have so much to be grateful for that a tree and decorations don’t really matter to me. My family and friends are healthy, the kids are doing good in school, we have a roof over our heads, among many other things. God has truly been good to me and mine. Take this time to reflect where you have been and where you are now. Take note to realize how you have been blessed and kept from harm in your daily comings and goings. Don’t get caught up in gifts and spending your last. Listen, not being able to afford expensive gifts doesn’t make you a bad parent/person. People don’t remember the gifts, they remember the experience, they remember the people. I have 5 steps (which I need to implement myself and I will next year) to help minimize the stress of the holiday season.
Start saving a little bit each payday toward Christmas. Some banks/credit unions have a Christmas Club which allows for this, or you can open a savings account. This way you have money stashed away for Christmas, and honestly you don’t have to spend ALL of it. Keep some in your savings for rainy days.
Start shopping EARLY. I’m not talking about November, I’m talking like April. There are good sales all year long if you know where to look. Some sites I use are slickdeals.net, gottadeal.com, hip2save.com, raininghotcoupons.com.
Shop online. This is a no brainer. Don’t want to be in the holiday traffic and craziness? Grab a glass of wine or hot cocoa and click away!
Make your gifts. I know, I know, some folks say they aren’t gifted in the DIY department, but there is something for everyone. Sign up for Pinterest if you haven’t already to get some ideas. You don’t have to be Martha Stewart to pull off the majority of these gifts. When people see the time and effort that was spent into a special gift just for them, they will appreciate it.
DON’T STRESS!! Do NOT stress yourself out about these gifts. If you have people in your life that wills top talking to you about a gift, then they aren’t here for you anyway. The relationships you have are more important. This is a hard pill for some to swallow and it’s ok. I had a hard time in my younger years with it too. Now, I’m just happy to see my family and friends. I’m spoiled all year around (by way of deals of course, I pay retail for NOTHING lol), one day doesn’t matter to me in terms of gifts. You never know what people are facing and what they are REALLY able to afford.
A gift doesn’t have to be expensive to be a “good” gift. Enjoy your family and friends while you can, make new memories with them.