Yes, Christmas. Ah, Christmas, tied for first for my favorite of all Holidays. I LOVE that it's not just a holiday but an entire season. I LOVE that it's a time to celebrate the most important and most special birthday of all time. I LOVE that it really is a time for giving and the simple fact that it's an entire season means many different wonderful gatherings with loved ones. Oh the music! Oh the decorations! Oh the snow. (I really like snow)
I know, Halloween isn't even here yet. Why am I writing about Christmas? Well I'm pretty sure that my strongest love language is gift giving. But gift giving at Christmas drives me batty, can get me a little depressed, overwhelms me beyond belief and as much as I love to give gifts I walk away from the wonderful Christmas season each year feeling that I did not hit the mark. Still, after all these years, after the frugal hurdles I've scaled, after the penny pinching tests I've passed I am never satisfied with my own Christmas time gift giving. No one else that I know is really frugal like me. I do not think they truly get me. It's a serious area of pressure for me. I have a big family and there just isn't money in the budget to give extravagant gifts to everyone, or anyone for that matter.
Last year I bought dollar store gifts for my nieces and nephews. The game that we played with them was really fun, there were a lot of smiles and laughter and they seemed to enjoy themselves a lot but I felt like a cheapskate. I did not buy gifts for my dad or his two kids (we don't see them very often but they ended up being at the family Christmas party and it was awkward not having gifts for them). My sister is one of the greatest people on the planet and I never feel she gets a sufficient gift from me. The year before last I tried to make neat crafty gifts involving cash and candy for my nieces and nephews. I think they were too young. Only one of them even seemed the least bit interested in the presents. Because my family is on the larger side I never even get gifts for any of my friends or co-workers. Seriously, gifting at Christmas is a huge area of let down for me. I have one living grand-parent. I send him a card but I don't think I've ever given any of my grand-parents a Christmas gift. That seems a very odd thing to even type. Nope, never have. That's weird. How did my mom and dad never encourage us to give presents to our grandparents? Okay, this is a strange later in life revelation I'm suddenly having.
I'm thinking about Christmas right now because I want to be mentally and giftedly prepared this year. I'm attempting at this very moment to scrap all the expectations I put on myself. Yes, I love gifting but perfection is NOT attainable. Repeat that 10 times. "Perfection is NOT attainable." I can't buy any of my nieces a pony. I can't buy my nephews those big kid cars that they can actually sit in and drive around. I'm not going to spend $80 or $50 or $30 on some awesome doll or toy or the latest hottest craze. Let it go. Let it go. Let it go. (I haven't see the movie so the song is not stuck in my head now)
After having just read Money Secrets of the Amish I'm opting to go the Amish route this Christmas. I'm going to put a tremendous amount of thought into my gift giving, probably a tremendous amount of energy and effort and very little money. I'm going to try and gift homemade things that I love. And I'm not going to beat myself up about it not being enough, not being good enough, not being... perfect. Okay, this last part is probably the main reason I'm writing this post IN SEPTEMBER. I don't want to beat myself up about Christmas gifts this year. Why do I feel so much pressure about this?
Spending rundown today: $0, NO SPEND day 73 for the year.
My budget for the month is $450.79 which leaves $67.55
Average daily spending for 2015: $17.87