Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Planning for Christmas, 2013

It's already that time of year. I've spotted Christmas decorations already in the shops. @@ Can't we wait until after Thanksgiving???

Christmas is a debt free holiday here. I set aside money every month towards my anticipated expenditures, and that's what I have to work with. Period.

Decorations:
-we reuse what we have, refurbish as needed
-a live tree from a local tree farm, thanks to a discount voucher

Food:
-items are purchased on sale, when I encounter deals. I already have a ham in the freezer, and could easily pull off a holiday meal with other supplies on hand. I do want to splurge on some large shrimp, but know that sales and loss leaders will be around come December

Gifts:
-our list is small, of those to whom we offer a gift. Again, a set budget.
-we shop year round for those aforementioned, and put aside items for this holiday
-second hand (often new with tags) items are welcomed
-home made (cooked, knit or sewn) items will be included as gifts
-purchased or otherwise acquired gifts are practical, with a few splurges tossed in
-msc "stocking stuffer" type items are already being gathered, capitalizing on combining sales with large or doubled coupons
-cards-we'll probably skip these this year, saving on the hassle and postage. Many others have seemed to also have stopped mailing cards so I don't feel that this is a great loss.

What is most important to me is to spend time with my family, and simply enjoy being together. A $100 sweater from Macy's couldn't possibly make up for that. So, we'll make some good memories together and fast forward to January and there won't be any large, looming credit cards to pay off.

This works for me. : )

4 comments:

ND Chic said...

You have your priorities set and your budget in January will thank you. This Christmas will be much different for us this year as we will have a newborn. We will definitely be taking it easy on gifts.

Marcia in rural WNY said...

I always have a Christmas club so my budget is set in advance too. Our family is getting older and only granddaughter has many wants. A 49 yo daughter and a 58 yo son in law don't want for much--hobby things or gcs to restaurants, and a couple items from their "wish lists"--mostly practical, are about it. At 70 and 71, we can barely summon up a "wish list" for ourselves! Chocolate covered pretzels made by daughter are a big treat for us.

DW said...

We're in the weird season now ... where you can see patio furniture, Halloween decorations and Christmas decorations side-by-side.

We have a few gifts from last year (plans to see family fell through), and we've picked up a few things on sale, so it shouldn't be too bad (though our gift count is going up -- we'll have another great niece or nephew by Christmas).

Nancy said...

Christmas is a debt free holiday around here too. GF and I go halves on gifts for the family and we have a set budget for them as well as each other. We plan to shop the day after Thanksgiving at a local outlet mall that has fantastic sales that day and manageable crowds. This year boxes of home baked goodies will be featured for some 'extra' gift recipients (hair stylist, school mom who does massages, school administrative assistant, long time mailman) who do so much for me throughout the year.