Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Frugal Christmas

With the economy being really bad this year so the experts say a lot of people are not going to have a good Christmas they say because of it. Instead of the 30 plus christmas toys the kids usually get they are only going to get maybe 6 or 7 *gasp* Instead of families going out to partys or having one they actually have to stay home with the kids and think of creative things to do with them *gasp again*

As for my family its no different this year as it was the last few years. We have a budget for each member the kids make a list knowing that they wont get everything on it. We think of creative things to do with the kids that won't cost a lot of money like our annual cookie bake.
We are not tightening our belts but we are not overspending either.

Yes we do have money to have a really have expensive Christmas but is that what we have strived for all these years of getting out of debt? To be able to have an expensive Christmas? To have our credit card maxed out again?

Through our quest through these last few years to be debt free we have learned its not about the toys we can get but the quality time with our family that means the most to us. Last year instead of buying a new tv because ours went out we got it fixed instead imagine that? We make cookies for my husbands office each year and also a few days before our Christmas Eve party (which everyone brings a dish) we give a bag to each family of goodies to take home with them. This means a lot for the families that dont bake a lot and have something for Christmas day to snack on, I make some of my moms oldies including more of my own.

I have a gift for each of my nieces and nephews but they are not that expensive under $10 and I start early buying them. I have a large family and because we are blessed this year I make sure all the kids will have something to open Christmas morning but I remind my family of something...

They have done studys where a kid will open 30 presents one after the other and at first they are excited but it soon dies down as they go as fast as they can to the next one and barily a whisper of thank you anymore. They can become ungrateful their eyes sort of glazed over of not knowing where to start with so many choices kids don't need that many choices. Where if a child has just a few presents to open they will mean more to him and he will take it slower and appreicate it more.

We have cut down a lot the last few years with the presents and the kids didnt really notice it, we dont put the presents there till Christmas Eve because then they will start to count who has more which you know how it is sometimes with sible rival.

One child wants something expensive so you buy that the other wants less expensive so you can buy him 3 things that cost about as much as the first childs present, but does a child know this? No its the number I tell you cost matters not to them.

Besides Christmas Eve all my other family brings gifts to exchange that night and the kids are allowed one gift to open so the other presents would get lost in the mess is our logic :)

Have a good Christmas don't believe what the so called experts say about having a poor Christmas if you say right now as you read this, "Well it is going to be poor" then that is what you are going to have you have just doomed yourself to having a poor, awful Christmas.

Think positive be creative and remember its Christs birthday not your kids.

Have a toy gift exchange with family/friends
Set a budget
Have the kids make a wish list but make sure they know they may not get all of it
Be creative make/bake things instead for family. Did they mention they love your pumpkin bread?
Shop early/Compare prices just dont buy it from one store
Shop at thrift stores clean them up some things still have tags on them.
Find free things going on in your community
A lot of organizations give away toys to families in need

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