My husband and I decided to purposely spend less money than we usually do on gifts for our three children and extended family this Christmas because we are broke. Ha! But seriously, we bought a house and launched a business this year, so funds are a bit tight. We knew they would be, and we are content with the sacrifice in light of the potential payoff, but the usual holiday shopping spree just ain’t gonna happen this year.
I’m relieved, honestly. I usually set and then immediately blow the holiday budget buying way too many presents for each kid, then throwing in “just one more” gift here and there for grandparents and aunts and friends until I wonder how we will pay for utilities in January. Then my husband swoops in at the last minute and buys me something extravagant because “I’m worth it,” which is appreciated yet stressful because again, I would like to have electricity in the new year.
This year, I absolved myself 100% from any and all guilt of not spending enough money on presents. I am free to enjoy everything else the season has to offer; the light displays (glad the neighbors aren’t broke!), trying new cookie recipes with my kids, the tree lighting celebration downtown, and hanging stockings from my husband’s and my childhood alongside my own children’s. I made calendars from family photos as gifts for the grandparents, and we will buy the kids a few simple gifts apiece. My husband and I decided to skip presents for each other in order to buy him a plane ticket to come home for Christmas since he is working out of state right now. The kids and I will make signs and pick him up at the airport. I’m glad we get a chance to genuinely show our kids that the best gift we can give each other is our presence.