december's 10 things


For December’s 10 things, I thought I’d share 10 Christmas things. As usual, some personal finance related and some not. Check out November’s 10 things here if you missed it.

  1. For Christmas shopping, I give myself a hard deadline on my Christmas shopping so that I’m not tempted to go buy anything extra. For some reason, every year I just feel like I haven’t done enough shopping for the good people in my life, no matter how much shopping I’ve done and money I’ve spent. Giving myself a hard deadline, in other words, a date in which I can NOT buy any more presents, helps me stick to my Christmas budget. That deadline is TODAY so I’m frantically trying to wind things up! If you haven’t checked out my list of cheap but awesome Christmas gifts, check out my favorite steals of the season here (unless of course your shopping deadline has passed, in which case don’t) 😉
  2. I LOVE having a big Christmas. Christmas at my house was a HUGE deal growing up. There were 7 kids in my family and my parents would always invite a few close friends over on Christmas Eve. We’d have a big turkey dinner and my siblings and I would all do either a Christmas skit or a talent show. There were treats and goodies everywhere. My older siblings would jingle bells outside our windows so we’d think Santa was there. And in the morning, we would each wake up to a huge pile of presents. We weren’t crazy wealthy or anything, but my parents made Christmas a really big deal. It was magical. I want to be able to do that for our kids, but first we have to chip away at our mountain of debt. It’s easy now while M is still young. We budgeted $100 for his Christmas. Toys are so cheap and you can find so many great deals around the holidays, that we haven’t even reached our budget yet.
  3. I found out that Santa wasn’t real in the third grade, when I found ALL of our Christmas gifts in a storage room in our garage when we lived in Jackson, Mississippi. I remember walking into that storage room and seeing doll houses and Nerf guns and all of the things on our Christmas lists. It was literally exactly like walking into Toys R Us. Both magical because of all the toys, but so crushing to find out Santa wasn’t real. I probably would still believe in Santa to this day because I’m just the kind of person who likes to believe in things.
  4. Since we’re still paying off debt, I love finding all the cheap or free things you can do at Christmas. This year, we’ve gone to see lots of Christmas lights, enjoyed some Christmas shows and musicians at this super cool park near our home, visited a Christmas tree farm. We still have a few Christmas parties coming up, the Nutcracker ballet, and then celebrating hard the week of!
  5. On Christmas Day last year, we spent the morning in urgent care with M who was insanely sick! It was the sickest the poor kid has ever been in his life. Also, last year we had a record breaking 8 visits to urgent care. Our previous record was exactly 0 visits in our entire marriage. I literally say gratitude prayers for health every single day. It’s just one of those things that’s so easy to take for granted but gosh health is everything. I’m realizing that more and more. We haven’t had any doctor’s or urgent care visits this Christmas season so we’re already much better off than last year. 😉 [Related: How to Save a Ton of Money with a HSA]
  6. I  LOVE the smell of real Christmas trees but when I  learned that it takes a poor Christmas tree about ten years to grow, we decided we wouldn’t do a real tree every year. Not only that, but it’s so much more expensive.
  7. There is an extremely high chance that we will be either selling our house or renting it out as early as March of next year and I have been doing everything I can to treasure what is probably our last Christmas in our home. I finally got our fireplace working and we’ve been doing night walks through our neighborhood and the cute park near or house that has these GIANT Christmas trees that M loves to hide in… just trying to live Christmas up to the fullest.M's third Christmas
  8. As much as I love Christmas and all the fun things to do around the holidays, it’s actually not my favorite holiday. Sometimes I find it a little high maintenance. 4th of July is where it’s at.
  9. This is M’s 3rd Christmas! He is SO FUN around the holidays, birthdays, etc. because he is so expressive. He’s the type of person that really lets you know how he’s feeling, so when he’s happy, by golly, he’s happy. Flapping his arms up and down and shouting for joy. Giving him gifts is truly such a treat. He wrote his letter to Santa this week and asked for a scooter, some race cars, and a little tiny blue marble (his words). He also made it a point to tell Santa several times in his letter that he’d been a good boy all year long.
  10. We hung Christmas lights up on our porch. Two days later, half of them burned out. And I mean literally burned, like when you look at the individual lights they are blackened out. I still haven’t taken them down or tried to fix them because it made me so mad and I am too cheap. I LOVE Christmas lights but I, like everyone else on earth, DESPISE putting them up. Honestly I’m still a little angry about the situation even as I type this haha.

That’s it for now. What about you? Tell me some Christmas and or personal finance things in a comment below!

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