It started several months ago with the feeling that we just had too much stuff (toys). Jeff and I discussed the idea of doing less for Christmas this year. We liked the idea of “something I want, something I need, something to wear, something to read” that I’ve seen people talking about online. That would definitely help with the too many toys issue.
Then we got into a car accident a couple of months ago when a driver ran a red light and hit us. The mini van was totaled and we couldn’t find another one in as good of shape as ours without upgrading a little bit and a price tag $4,000 above what the insurance gave us. Breanna’s medical problems and the bills are rolling in: $100 here, $150 or $200 there. Big dents are being made in our savings right now. We’re doing fine & not lacking in anything we need but we’re being very cautious with our money since we don’t know how long the medical bills are going to keep coming at us. And after all, isn’t that just a smart way to live, anyway?
So, being frugal for Christmas sounded like a good idea. Then I had the craziest thought of all: what if we did Christmas for free this year? We’ll spend some money but not anything from Jeff’s paycheck or our savings. Instead, the challenge is going to be able to create a great Christmas for the kids without that money. Here’s how we’re going to do it:
1. Limiting the gifts each child is getting and not going overboard which is so easy to do!
2. Selling stuff we don’t use anymore (using virtual garage sale sites) and that is the only money we can spend. Or money earned with rebate apps, etc.
3. Including some homemade gifts to cut expenses.
4. Shopping smart – using sales, etc.
I’m actually really excited about it & have gotten lots of fun ideas from friends and Pinterest for homemade gifts. Plus I’ve already picked out the one special toy each kid is getting and have already earned enough from selling items to pay for them all plus some of the other things we’ll need to purchase. I’m sure the kids will be very happy with their Christmas and won’t even notice that anything was different this year, and I can see myself repeating this pattern year after year as a great way to keep us from overspending at Christmas and from having any debt problems that seem to be standard and even expected in society at Christmas.
Do you think you could do Christmas for FREE at your house? I challenge you to give it a try and I’ll report back to let you know how we did, too.