Skip to main content

Holiday Heads-Up

It seems like it wasn't that long ago that I was a young bride browsing the shelves of a certain mega-bookstore in Fort Collins, Colorado. B.K. (before kids) my hubby and I would spend hours milling around the bookstore reading the dust covers, paging through table of contents, and rummaging in the bargain bin for our next read.

It was more his hobby than mine, but even then I loved to find a bargain! On one such outing, I stumbled on a book that would forever change my spending and my holidays. Debt Proof Your Holidays by Mary Hunt is just a little book, but it has big ideas that can change your entire outlook on the upcoming holiday season.

And if you're like me (I'm guessing many of you are), you're already thinking about Thanksgiving straight through to Christmas and dreaming about the things you'll give, what you'll cook, the parties you'll host, and the events you'll attend. The "problem" is it all costs money and it all takes time! And heaven knows that we do not have an unlimited budget for the holidays.

Have you even considered making yourself a budget? Ah-ha. Your answer tells a lot about you.

Living on a budget is a way of life for us. This one book was really a springboard for completely rethinking how we spend money day-in and day-out. In fact, you can find Mary Hunt's entire philosophy at her website: Debt Proof Living. There are many other great resources for staying on a budget and I'll plan on doing a piece about those in the new year. For now, I want to talk about ideas for keeping your next six weeks (YES IT'S ONLY SIX WEEKS!!) in the black.

I'm going to make this post a three part series. Please share comments along the way with resources and ideas of your own that will be helpful to others and a reminder to yourself that you can get through the holidays with less stress and less debt!

Today, let's reflect on the question that Ms. Hunt puts forth in her holiday book: what do you value and how will your Christmas celebrations reflect those values?

What is most important to you and your family? What brings you the most joy? What do you wish you had or had not done last Christmas? How do you want to feel on January 1, 2012?

Here are some thoughts to get you moving. I highly recommend starting to write your thoughts out journal-style and read them as you move through the coming weeks.

Do you love cooking and baking? Is it important to you to send Christmas cards and/or a family newsletter? Do you want to decorate your home? If so, how much is enough? Are there special traditions that you want to include? Are there parties you want to attend or some that you should skip this year? What is a reasonable spending limit? Do you need to talk to kids ahead of time about what Christmas will look like this year?

This is what I know. Just yesterday I saw that Walmart released their Black Friday sales. Not only that, they are starting those promotions at 10pm on Thanksgiving night (so much for Black Friday). Target will open at midnight with its door buster sales. And this is only the beginning. The buying, the rushing, the busyness, the stress will happen if you let it.

It is NOT too late to make this your best holiday season ever. And that doesn't mean more gifts, more parties, and more spending. It may actually mean less. But that's up to you. Have you started planning? What's your strategy?


"I will examine my holiday activities in light of my values, and because there's no way I can do it all, I will choose those things that bring the greatest joy and happiness to me and my family." ~Mary Hunt from Debt Proof Your Holidays

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Give Thanks: Part 4

KEEP READING FOR A GREAT SCENTSY GIVEAWAY! There is so much to be thankful for, it really is hard to decide what will make these next few posts... but today is an ode to my husband. If there is one thing he loves, it's great smells. Although great smells come from great cooking, they also come from great candles. Now with kids around candles can feel a little risky, but then came Scentsy . This is a "flameless" candle which is actually kind of a throw back to the scented wax warmers that used a candle. No candles here, just plug in the warmer and the small light bulb does all the work. I'm a fan of the nightlight sized warmers, but the larger Scentsy warmers are quite lovely. Browse the entire Holiday Collection to find the one perfect for your home or start thinking about gift giving - the combinations are endless! And look at this festive warmer of the month (10% off): But now we need to talk about fragrance! Silver Bells is the fragrance of the month (als

Mom Spot: Progressive Pioneer

Here is another blog I've come across in recent weeks. She has gorgeous pictures and her post yesterday was truly fantastic. "Maine is pretty rainy in the spring.  And I lived in Oregon for awhile and it defines rainy.  So, a little rain rarely puts me in a gray mood.  In fact, this rainy, rainy spring we've been having here in Utah has actually made me feel quite cheerful!  Each rainy day has felt like something of a celebration." Click HERE to read the entire post - you have to see the photographs! You'll also find all kinds of topics on sustainable and simple living. Enjoy!

Psalm 16

This Psalm has been blessing me. I pray it will bless you too. Thanks to BibleGateway.com for making it so easy to share these beautiful words with you. 16  Preserve me, O God, for in you I  take refuge. 2  I say to the  Lord , “You are my Lord;      I have no good apart from you.” 3  As for  the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones,      in whom is all my delight. 4  The sorrows of those who run after another god shall multiply;      their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out      or  take their names on my lips. 5  The  Lord  is  my chosen portion and my  cup;      you hold my  lot. 6  The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;      indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance. 7  I bless the  Lord  who  gives me counsel;      in  the night also my  heart instructs me. 8  I have  set the  Lord  always before me;      because he is at my  right hand, I shall not be  shaken. 9  Therefore my heart is glad, and my  whole being rejoices;      my