This Season: Don’t indulge with your wallet.

ImageBeing frugal can be a challenge for some. For me, if you ask my husband, I am “the cheapest woman on the planet” lol (thank-you, babe) that’s not to say it isn’t a challenge, we all have our moments and weaknesses. And I am fully aware that there is one type of spending that I have little to no problem doing, on others. 

I have always had this problem. I remember when I was little going on field trips I would want to bring my mom and dad home souvenirs. So for me, the personal challenge of frugality comes during the holiday season when I wish I had the money to spend on everyone else. I’d love to be able to go Christmas shopping with a limitless credit card as long as I promise to spend on everyone but me, that sounds like one fun shopping spree! Especially this year. So many people have helped us and supported us throughout this past year of ups and downs. Most recently some amazing peeps came through with an overwhelming outpouring of love to try to make right our neighborhood grinch. I so badly want to give back and make everyone feel as special and as wonderful as they are to us. Unfortunately we simply don’t have the money to do this and I can honestly say the words “thank-you” have never been said with more true meaning and gratitude than we have for each and everyone near and dear to us. Let this be the first lesson, a true heartfelt thank-you where you can feel the warmth when you say it…now that is priceless!
Regarding my shopping downfalls, I have to say I had never considered the way I gift for any occasion. I always simply justified it but again, this is not budget friendly. We always make presents, but let’s be honest this can add up. Yes, it is better than hitting up those big box stores for all the presents but ingredients, supplies, wrapping and shipping can certainly extinguish one’s budget just as fast. This year was a combo of both. But what about Santa? Christmas is so magical to kids and getting to help fulfill that joy is priceless in and of itself but the truth is it is not priceless it is costly. This is not frugal whatsoever. As we embarked on the holidays season and began looking out our options I happen to stumble across the answer and was over the moon about it. This, in my opinion, is a brilliant philosophy for Christmas gifting/shopping especially for kiddos. Thank-you, Pinterest. Let the nods begin. Yes, Pinterest has once again saved the day with the following little ditty:
Something they want
Something they need,
Something to wear,
Something to read. 
Perfect! (and furthermore why I haven’t I thought of that?)
No over spending. No last minute “oh, but she would love this” and the best part is while it’s great for the kids, it works for just about anyone you need to really shop for. I even shopped for Brent like this, success! There are other takes on this shopping mantra, religious, personal, etc. but these seem to fit the bill for our family. Of course there is the challenge of what does a 2-year really “need’ besides life’s necessities but that can be the fun of it too. Toys are a part of this (and thankfully still can be this year!) but I know our children will have the same magic regardless of how many pkgs are under the tree. For us, Christmas isn’t about the presents and bows but rather the presence of our faith and celebrating the gifts that come from within. However, there is magic in the belief of a child in Santa- a magic that lives in our hearts and for some there can even be a connection made between the two; but this is not a religious rant, to each their own; but rather the point here is about balance. Not undoing all we have worked hard to accomplish in the light of indulging in gift giving. If somehow we can maintain a balance between losing our savings and keeping the faith this seems to create the most well-balanced holiday in a season full of indulgences…besides that’s what the cookies are for. 
Merry Christmas 

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