Saturday, November 28, 2015

Joys of the holiday

I thought of putting in a disclaimer on the frustrations of the holiday too, but in actuality, I have had very few of those so far.  One situation I did have and I won't let it affect my Christmas.  I had a gift damaged in transit and am having to have it replaced.  Kudos to Amazon for quick service so it really hasn't been a big deal. One of the reasons for my relaxed state is the fact that we are doing this holiday on a budget.  Many people look at budgets and say they are restrictive.  Dave Ramsey says Budgets are freeing and I believe it.  Instead of falling into the frenzy of shopping during the holiday season, forgetting things until the last minute, feeling like I'm behind the eight ball and dreading the arrival of the January credit card bill, I started my Christmas shopping with our Christmas fund and have deducted each purchase as it takes place.  Because of this I carefully planned each purchase and watched for sales prior to Black Friday (which by the way is not necessarily a good day to shop). As a result, I am 99.9 percent done with my shopping.  I have a few odds and ends such as postage to deal with, but the gifts are got.  This budget was a God Send and we are still $140 under budget.  The best part is there is no bill waiting at the end and putting a damper on a holiday that is supposed to be joyful.  Instead, in January, we get to anticipate tax filing season.  I know everyone deals with that, but at least we will only be dealing with that.  So anyway, my decorations are up and once I get the boxes and stuff put away, I will take a pic and show them here.  I know you guys are waiting with baited breath.

My focus now turns to the craft part of my Christmas gifting.  I'm hoping to start that tomorrow as I have a few gifts that need to be completed for loved ones.  Making some of my gifts has helped with the staying in budget.  I highly recommend it.  I would post my gift list, but since the recipients will be reading my blog, prudence says I shouldn't.   I can say some will be sewn, and some will be eaten.  Homemade gifts are awesome I believe.  If you have a talent for something consider using it as a gift.  You don't have to sew, crochet, or wood work to give a gift.  Those are nice things, but the idea is to give of yourself.  If you cook, then bake cookies, a cake, candy, or give a coupon for a dinner made by you.  If you're a clean freak, offer a coupon for a certain number of hours cleaning someones house who may need the help.  The idea is to give of yourself.  True meaning to "it's the thought that counts".   The time it takes to create a gift for a loved one is a huge expression of how much they mean to you.  Pace yourself.  Not every homemade gift is cheap.  If you have never sewn or have nothing to start with, then starting with all new stuff can be pricey.  Instead don't attempt something you aren't already well versed in  (and well stocked for that matter).  Only you know what you are best at.  Give it a thought.  If homemade gifts are out of range to start right now, plan for next year.

So the holiday season has started.  We spent Thanksgiving surrounded by family giving thanks for all we have and now the time has come to give.  This holiday is about giving, not getting.  That is the fun part.  It's the hiding gifts, sneaking in time to shop or create, and the anticipation of the recipients reaction to your hard work.

I hope you had an amazing Thanksgiving.  I wish for you all the Joys of the season, and the joy that comes from knowing the greatest gift of all, Jesus Christ.  We give because He gave.

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