What? You’re banning Christmas? Surely not!
Well no, of course not, I love Christmas and every aspects of it – Family and friends, all getting together and sharing meals and laughter (and the occasional disagreement) and of course, there is the reason that we have Christmas in the first place and the message of hope that it brings.
All in all, Christmas is a time for celebration, for renewing ties and burying the hatchet, even if for only one day or to make a loved one happy. It’s about spreading joy and watching children’s faces light up. It’s about sharing the love, visiting someone on their own or who can’t be with their loved ones, there are so many reasons that Christmas can be wonderful, including making sure you have time for rest and recuperation.
However, the Grinch seems to have stolen Christmas in recent years and it is so commercialised that it causes heartache and pain instead.
So we have a new rule in our house: we are only buying for our parents, our children, their partners and my lovely grandson. Presents will not be big or wasteful, they will be something they need or want and not just because it is a stocking filler and they will not be extravagant, they may even be second hand or home made.
We have spoken to our family and created a Pre-N.U.P. – No Unnecessary Presents pact. We will not be getting for anyone else and will therefore not be expecting presents in return. This has not only helped us, but has taken the burden of gift giving off them too.
I think this *video from Martin Lewis, a great straight-talking money guru from here in the UK, explains this much better than I can.
Another thing we need to look at is food and drink – how mad do you go for just 2 days? How much food do you have left over or do you throw away? Does everyone eat what is on their plate or is there too much? We don’t even drink indoors (well, occasionally), but I have so much drink in the house it is like a bar, just so I can offer something to meet everyone’s wishes – it’s MAD!
So just think about what you are buying, have a few extra trimmings but don’t go silly with 13 desserts, 16 sides, pork, beef, turkey and duck as a main – have a Christmas that you will enjoy, that you will sit and relax and feel full without waste, without spending hours preparing and without costing you a fortune.
I also PLAN my Christmas beforehand – as Dave Ramsey says, Christmas doesn’t sneak up on us, it’s there, 25th December, every year, without fail, so plan for it – put a little aside each week/month, have a goal of what you need, how much you will spend, etc., and create a sinking fund for it so you are prepared when it comes around (probably a bit late for this year, but start straight after Christmas for next year).
And lastly, Happy Thanksgiving Day to my American friends.
I am always grateful for small things and try to write down at least 3 things a day that I have been thankful for, I feel it ends my day on a positive note, no matter how bad I’ve felt and it always cheers me up. Here are some of the things that I am thankful for:
- My grandson Nathan – he is ONE TODAY! he is the light of our lives. I still remember when my children were as born and the joy I felt then, but it is totally different with a grandchild and although my love has never diminished for my children, grandchildren bring just a whole new dimension to love. He makes me smile just to think of him.
- My home – I love that it is our home, that we are making it whole again and as I work on each little bit of it, I remember how it was and the pride I feel when I complete a part of it to bring it back to its former glory.
- My husband. He puts up with so much from me and I love him for it every day. We recently celebrated 30 years of marriage and throughout our trials and tribulations, he has been my rock and I’m proud to be called his wife.
What do you have to be thankful for? There is always something, even if it is only that you have survived another day, just remember that tomorrow is a new day and that you can make it yours.
I started this blog as a musing of my journey to debt freedom and hopefully it will help others along the way, I hope that you find this useful and that it will help you to say no to gift-buying for the sake of it and save both your own and your intended reciprocant money and stress.
See you again next week,