When my husband and I started having children we admittedly went a bit overboard at Christmastime too. A few years ago I remember us looking at each other across a room littered with wrapping paper and just an obscene amount of toys (for a 1 and 2 year old no less) and realizing we had gone overboard on the gifts. Since then we’ve tried to be much more intentional with our gifting and our holiday budgeting-both with out finances and our time and commitments. We really want to put the focus on the true meaning of the holidays and spending meaningful time together as a family.
This year our family is taking Suntrust’s Meaningful within Your Means challenge to try or do something differently so that we can create lasting meaningful memories of the holidays-without over-committing and overspending
There are 3 “areas” of this challenge. The goal is to try and do something from each area:
Make Time For Yourself
If you’re stressed out no one is going to enjoy the holidays…make time for yourself by skipping those stressful self-imposed obligations like the long Christmas update letters or being pressured into baking a hundred hand decorated cookies for the PTO.
It also means planning ahead so you’re not stressed about finances which can quickly suck the joy out of the season.
We decided after that indulgent Christmas five years ago that outside of immediate family we give baked goods or something homemade-I personally enjoy baking so it’s not a stress on me and it eases our budget immensely while letting our friends and family know we were thinking of them. (Plus I get to try new recipes to share with you all!)
Make Time Together
We’re committing to doing something FREE together every week in December-looking at holiday lights, seeing a parade, hot chocolate and Christmas movies at home-we want to put the focus on our family being together rather than spend, spend, spend.
The same can go for friends-rather than wasting time and money on gifts everyone can join together for a potluck meal and enjoy each other’s company without breaking the bank.
Y’all already know how close to my heart giving back is-I recently shared how you can make your own Blessing Bags for the homeless and last year I shared how we countdown Advent with Good Deeds. Giving back to others is such an essential part of the holidays in particular and puts the focus on the true spirit of the season rather than the commercialized version the stores put in our faces constantly.
Would you like to do the Meaningful Within Your Means challenge with me? (Don’t forget to try the Holiday Budgeting Spreadsheet!) Do you have any other tips for keeping your holidays low on stress and high on quality time?