Friday, November 21, 2014

The Best Gift...

As you may know from all the holiday decorations that have cropped up, Christmas is on it's way. 
What you won't see here is a list of things to consider buying for the holidays.
I grew up with the pressure of giving gifts to EVERYONE.
Staying out of debt is our new choice. 

A few years ago we started on a different journey for the holidays. I started with the things that created stress and guilt in my world.
Christmas Cards: I really was bad about sending Christmas cards anyway, so this one was fairly easy to eliminate.  Do you still have cards you didn't send out from last year? Anyway, I only send a card to my mother & now I send a couple to the Angel Card Project. 

I actually chose to support this project, because I do remember spending years alone at Christmas. Including the year I had hotdogs for Christmas dinner, because I was working on Christmas Day in the military and nothing was open for dinner. I had missed the mess hall dinner. 

Decorating the House: Again another project that simply caused stress in my life. After my son left home, I eventually cut back drastically on decorating. What I found again was I often working up to the last minute.
This year I may put up a small tree I have: 1) Because we will be going through the attic and seeing what we are going to move & what we are getting rid of and 2) My mom is coming to visit us this year. Other than that we focus on what we really like: Putting up some outside lights and lighting a candle on Christmas Day.

Cooking: Christmas Eve we have our "Favorites Banquet". We get foods that we don't normally get through out the year, usually because of cost. I started this when my son was little & we were so broke. It's a tradition that he really wants to share with his family.  Christmas Day we order Chinese food & stay out of the kitchen. LOL.

Gifts: This has been the biggest change recently. 
For us, we give gifts to my mother (the only living parent) and our grandchildren. We request that no one gives us gifts.  

Pay Cash Only: This is the big deal here. Be intentional with your plan. Don't go into debt for the holidays. It really isn't necessary. 
Don't get caught up in the hype and guilt of buying.

Forgive Yourself: I think often people harbor a lot of guilt during the holidays. Take a day to forgive yourself.  Take day to remember things that are painful and sorrowful. Take a day and do something for yourself. 

The added benefit is now I have far less stress during the holidays. More time to focus on what I believe is more important. 
At the very least, take the time to really evaluate what is truly important in your world and work towards that. 

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