In a little over a month, we will be hearing jingle bells...and most of us are NOT prepared. We know it's coming every. year. but with daily costs and bills and, you know, real life...it's not always easy to set back for Christmas. And in some cases, we just simply cannot afford it. Although currently I'm doing *OK* in life, it was never that way before. When you lack funds and the holiday season approaches, it's more depressing than anything. This is especially big in situations that involve children. So here are a few of my ideas to ( somewhat ) de-stress you and your situation, and to help battle the "holiday blues"
Limit your holiday gift list
Do you really need to get a gift for Aunt Molly-through-marriage-twice-removed? NO!!! Yes, it IS the season of giving but if you don't have the funds, you cannot make yourself go broke over giving to everyone. True friends and family will respect that you're not in a good spot and will love you anyways. Make a short list; choose the most important people to you. I always tend to put the children first ( isn't it more a holiday for them, anyways? ) and then spouses, close friends and maybe a family member or two. When you eliminate the need to give a gift to everyone, it helps a bunch. This holiday is supposed to be about being around loved ones...not about material objects.
Set a spending limit
Okay, so you have 8 people on your limited gift list. Now it's time to decide--how much do you want to spend? If you need to budget for the holidays like most of us do, you need to set a limit and
Low on cash and artistically inclined?...handmade gifts are awesome for the holidays! What's more full of love than a gift someone made specifically for me with their own two hands?? There are plenty of budget-friendly DIY gift ideas on websites like Pinterest. Do some investigating!...you may be surprised by what you find.
Set pride aside
For some, Christmas is tough because they simply don't have money for gifts. But when you have young children who believe in Santa Claus and an empty bank account, you end up with adults that feel helpless and depressed. Use your resources! You can't let your personal pride get in the way of making the best Christmas you can for your kids. I never had extra when we were growing up, but I'll be damned if my parents didn't load up under that tree on Christmas. When people donate to Toys For Tots, others have the ability to reap the benefits of that. If you're having a hard time this year, you can fill out a toy request by following this link. The Salvation Army does a "Christmas Assistance" program; if you don't have the funds for the holidays, you can go to your local SA and register for this program. You can find additional information on this program here. You can even visit your local church and speak to them about some possible help. There really are kind people in this world that want to help those down on their luck--it's just sometimes, the ones who aren't abuse that good nature.
Check yard sale sites and Craigslist
You may find discounted items that are brand-new or barely used on sites like Craigslist, OfferUp, LetGo or your local Facebook Yard Sale Page.
These are only a few of many suggestions for trying to tame the beast that is Saint Nick--and all the financial stress that his holiday can bring on us. Just do what you can, be thankful, be kind and be gracious.
This holiday is to celebrate the birth of Christ, not the release of the new iPad. Humble yourself and remember that some children go without food or shelter on a regular basis. Christmas is a luxury than not all get to experience. We are blessed.