This Christmas season has been very low key for the Gman and I. As I write this, I understand that some folks would consider these things a little Scrooge-like. I consider them necessary in the lean times that we are living in. It's easy to convince myself that the celebration of birth of my Savior is no reason to overspend. Also, the very nature of being a Christian, is to be honest. I need to be honest with my family, my spouse and my checkbook. By putting on a pretense of disposable income, I am being a phony. The very thing I have no patience for.
As a side note, this season has been a such a blessing. I am not run ragged, my gifts are almost all wrapped and I have not become the grumpy Christmas animal that has been seen in the past around here.
So here's my 10 actions that have kept my Christmas spending in check:
If I have birthed you or if I am married to you, you must stop reading here if you do not want your Christmas surprises spoiled. I put this disclaimer in knowing that the Gman reads my posts every few months. I'm not sure if Random reads this, but I must to cover my bases.
- I went out on black Friday, with a very specific list. Thankfully, my debit card was left in my skating bag. With only one check left, I had to use cash. I even came home with cash. I stuck to my budget and took care of the majority of my shopping.
- The kids and I made 10 containers of Christmas candies. They picked one friend to bless with a box. I had 7 left to give to people in my life. I thought about who had really touched my life this year and they received the boxes. The other 490 people have been receiving hugs and a big Merry Christmas.
- My birthday box will be filling in the gaps for my stocking stuffers. I LOVE filling stockings. This is one of my favorite parts of Christmas morning. I wrap each gift individually so they can savor the experience. Speaking of stocking stuffers, I use this as an opportunity to give necessities to the older set. The Gman will be getting his favorite toothpaste and deodorant. Our traditional socks and underwear may make an appearance.
- I bought the Gman a few small things, from the other guy I talk about here, Dave. These books are keepers, in the long run they will pay off.
- I didn't send Christmas cards. I felt unless I had a fantastic photo, I wasn't going to waste money on the postage. Every other year is o.k. My kids are older and not changing too quickly for a yearly photo.
- We made drawings for family members courtesy of a See the Light DVD. This was a Christ-centered creation. I can't say too much because my Dad reads my blog.
- I won a few of my gifts by entering blog contests. This has been such a blessing. I was able to give to few people, that were not really in my budget, but were on my heart. Paperboy and Little guy's gifts were free from a CSN gift certificate won.
- I did a little shopping here at LES. This is a great site for homeschool moms to buy presents that enhance your homeschooling experience, yet are fun enough to call gifts. Random has been pining away for more Johnathan Parks.
- The Gman, the master of the last minute surprises, scored a fantastic deal on a used drum set for Random. I can imagine he bought the set, for about the price on one or two of the cymbals new. The fact that it is used will not take a bit of his joy away. He has been begging for a drum set for years. It used to be the family joke. "Yes, Pops you can get him a drum set, you just have to keep it at your house."
- I waited and waited to buy a few things for Little guy knowing they would eventually go on sale. I was sweating it out, but I finally picked Leapster games last weekend. Of course, this was after unsuccessfully scouring Savers, my best source for these games.
How about you, have you done anything different this Christmas?
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