In these tough financial times, what are you and your family doing differently this holiday season? Are you changing any of your traditions?
We're on a tight budget too, and we'll be cutting back for sure this holiday season.
Honestly, I believe that the holidays shldn't be all about spending money. So much pressure is put on us to buy gifts, put out an elaborate spread and go above and beyond every year. I admit, I do it. But frankly, I'm tired. The holidays are so stressful every yr trying to keep up w/ the expectations of the season, that it's becoming not so enjoyable anymore. Giving doesn't have to be about exchanging gifts. It's about spending valuable time w/ those people you love and care about. I believe strongly in traditions, whether they are passed down or newly begun. These moments are what make the holidays special, and these are the things that will stick w/ our children in the yrs to come.
We put $5 limits on gifts to each other this year. Now -- you have to imagine... with teens, this was a traumatic move, thinking their loot was going to go down.
Then, we put a $50 limit on gifts to each other (spouses) and a $50 limit on filling of stockings.
Now that our purchasing is over, my kids have said this was AWESOME. Everyone had to be so much more creative and really think. It feels so good to know we didn't charge a single thing this year.
Oh - and I went to the dollar stores and really made a haul.
I also really stressed to grandparents to PLEASE limit things to one gift. Honestly, I feel that they so over do Christmas that my kids did not appreciate things. It was almost a grotesque display under our tree last year. I hate competing with grandparents.
About five years ago, we started separating gift unwrapping. We do all extended family presents before Christmas - sometimes a few nights before, sometimes Christmas Eve. Then, we do immediate family and Santa (who is ONLY doing stockings this year) to Christmas morning. It just made it more special for our family.
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