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Skipping the holidays

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The title ‘skipping the holidays’ may be a little mis-leading but it suits where my mind is at right now. Hear me out.

I’ve been in the stores more this past couple of weeks than I have in probably months. Shopping for the twin’s, the house and so on. I’ve just ventured out a bit more than normal. As a result, I’ve been exposed to a lot more “holiday hoopla” than I typically am. (I have been an avid online shopper far longer than COVID has been around.)

And frankly, as much as I love the holiday season, beginning with just the inkling of cooler fall weather, thru to Halloween with the hundreds of kids in costumes at my grandmother’s house, to Thanksgiving in Texas with my kiddos and immediate family and then to my favorite of them all – Christmas, I’m inclined to skip most of that this year. Well maybe not most of it, but a lot of it.

Halloween

My grandmother continues to live in an assisted living facility so we did Halloween at home last year. It was a pretty big flop. And frankly, I do not need or want the candy around. Princess and Beauty have already planned their Halloween at school so I know they won’t come home and Gymnast will be out with friends I’m sure. I’m thinking of keeping the house dark and enjoying a quiet night in this year.

Skipping it in its entirety!

Thanksgiving

Our flights are booked. Even the twins’ girlfriends are going with us this year. In total, I paid $500 for our flights. My dad helped with the rest and the girlfriends paid their own way. We booked as soon as they were available to get the best deals. I’ll have to pay for parking at the airport and boarding my puppy, but otherwise, it will require minimum expenditure. And I don’t decorate my house for it because we are not here.

Skipping the heavy cost, not the event!

But…Christmas

Christmas is a completely different ball game. I like to go big at Christmas, but let’s face it, my family is so blessed. I can pretty much guarantee that none of my kids could tell you they “NEED” something. And they might even struggle to tell you anything they want that isn’t super expensive (all of them would tell you they want a car or a new car.)

While I’ve bought a few smaller things, I am seriously considering toning down our Christmas a bit. Or coming up with some different approach for the bulk of my Christmas budget rather than gifts.

With that being said, for the first time, in maybe ever, I really want to decorate for Christmas. Like I’m itching to do it already. We have decorated with a 4′ Christmas Tree from Dollar General for the last several years and frankly little else. This year, I want my house to reflect the joy I feel inside. Don’t mis-read this, I am not saying I want to spend my Christmas budget on decorations; although I do plan to get a bigger tree this year. I don’t necessarily want a bunch more stuff.

Doing it different

What I am saying is that I want to:

1. Decorate my house for Christmas (on a tight budget with minimal “stuff”) before we leave for Texas so that I can enjoy it alot longer. I was tempted to say before Halloween, but I think I can hold out until November 1st. Is that too soon considering we won’t be here for Thanksgiving?

2. Find some other way to use my Christmas budget other than just buying stuff. I do want to give some gifts, for sure, but there has to be more to this. I would love suggestions here. Things I have thought of…sponsoring some other families for Christmas, meaning the kids and I spend the Christmas budget and go together to shop for food/gifts for a couple of other families, having the kids use the money to buy some gifts for some of their friends who may not be as blessed (there is a lot of poverty around here). Maybe both?

I really want the kids to be involved and I want there to be an activity of giving, not just sending the money somewhere.

It is certainly early to be thinking of Christmas, but I’m a planner. And if we are going to do something different, I need a plan around it. Anyone here have these same types of desires? Ideas, anyone?

(And yes, I know that I could just take my healthy Christmas budget and throw it at debt. But I’m not going to. I just think our Christmas, well, it’s time for it to look and feel a bit different.)

 

 


10 Comments

  • Reply Anonymous |

    I love Christmas sooo much and I put my decorations up as soon as I take my Halloween decorations down (November 1st) It takes a lot of effort to put things up and it makes me so happy. I enjoy the 2 months of twinkling lights so I say go for it

  • Reply csdx |

    Your comment about Thanksgiving “Skipping the heavy cost” has me a bit confused, isn’t the travel (especially if including flights) the biggest cost of the holiday for most people?

    • Reply Hope |

      Perhaps…but in my mind it’s the stress and time spent decorating and slaving over the stove and preparing meals for so many for so long.
      I guess the only thing I’m really skipping is the decorating. As I am the primary cook at my parents all week, but there are lots of hands to help and clean so it does feel quite so heavy.
      I suppose it’s more the mindset then the actual holiday itself. Since we are visiting elsewhere, the burden doesn’t feel so heavy on me.

      • Reply Emily N. |

        Do people really decorate for Thanksgiving? Beyond a wreath and placemats and such, the people I know don’t do much in the way of decorating for Thanksgiving.

        • Reply Hope |

          It seems like everyone I know but me has always been into MASSIVE holiday decorating. I’ve really just come around to enjoying and looking forward to Christmas decorations. Not so much on any other holiday.

  • Reply caroline |

    I love the beauty of Xmas decor. But I no longer want, need, or have room for stuff. I am firmly in the “experiences” over “stuff” when it comes to holidays, birthdays, etc. With a tiny family, it is easier, and as you get older, even easier.

  • Reply Shauna |

    Some of my favorite decorations are handmade ones. So both in the spirit of Christmas and family you can get together once a week from November through the holiday to make something. Back when I was scraping by I also used these as great gifts to give others. Felt ornaments and salt dough ornaments/ decorations are fairly inexpensive to make and don’t take lots of experience to do right. Wrapping paper covering anything looks festive as well. Putting together holiday care packages for others would be fun, writing letters to service members overseas, helping out at foodbanks. I’m sure you can plan a great holiday season and make your home look as joyous as you feel inside.

  • Reply Alice |

    For Christmas you could do the shoeboxes like for Operation Christmas Child. You can do crafts together as a family to pack them. The gifts inside do not have to be expensive and the time spent together will be memorable and for a good cause. There are guidelines and suggestions on their website and the shipping for each box is $9. Just think how many children you could help with some of your budgeted money!

    I did this with my kids when they were younger. We always put a letter to the child in with the gifts, sometimes pictures. One year we got a letter back with a picture of the child opening the box. It was from Madagascar!

So, what do you think ?