This time of year is not meant to be stressful. Thanksgiving and the start of the holidays should be spent bonding as a family, making new memories with your kids and your grandkids, and being thankful for what we have. Now is the time to focus on being better parents and grandparents, so we can share moments of joy and hope to cherish for years to come.
Don’t let social media or the internet fool you.You don’t have to buy expensive gifts, or break the bank, to show your family and kids how much you love and care for them. I have some tips to help you not only control your spending this holiday season, but also help you find joy in the little things that matter most.
Set Spending Limits & Stick to a Budget
Don’t get wrapped up in overspending. It’s important to be realistic when setting your gift-buying budget so that you can avoid spontaneous shopping.
Make a list (and check it twice)! Planning ahead is the easiest way to avoid extra debt during the holiday season. Start by listing each person and what gift you’d like to buy them. Then, assign a budget to each person. In doing this, you’ll be able to create a total shopping budget, but you’ll also have spending limits for each person.
Use cash to hold yourself true to your budget. Rather than aimlessly swiping your debit or credit card, have cash on hand from your holiday budget. To ease the pressure off your budget, plan shopping days around paydays or store sales to ensure you’re not tempted to use a credit card or increase your debt.
Give the Gift of Quality Time
There is so much going on in the world today, which really shows us that nothing is more precious than our families. Now is not the time to bring up past hurt. It’s time to love one another, gather, and draw closer to one another.
Go fishing, play family football, plan a day at the park, bake cookies with the kids -- make moments not only you’ll remember, but your children and grandchildren will remember, too. Memories are something that can last a lifetime and even longer as they are passed down from generation to generation. And remember -- on bad days or during trying times, you’ll have moments of joy to look back on for encouragement or reassurance.
Be Creative & Give Personalized Gifts
Utilize your talents to create personal presents. Look online for inexpensive gift guides and get the kids or grandkids involved!
Sure, you can battle long lines at the department store, or worry with online orders arriving in time, but even 2-day shipping can’t beat a beautiful, homemade gift. Some crafts you can even make using items you already have at home!
Just like with planning your holiday shopping budget, it’s important to plan your personalized gifts, too. Hold yourself accountable to a budget and make sure to involve the creativity of your children and grandchildren.
Throw a Pot-Luck
If there’s one thing in South Georgia we all love, that’s great, home cooking. Plan a pot-luck this Thanksgiving or Christmas with family and friends where you can all enjoy good food and good memories.
These meals are a great way to spend quality time with family and friends as you prepare dishes. Talk about generational recipes passed down from relatives, experiment with new desserts you found online, or simply enjoy being together.
By throwing a Pot-Luck, you’re not only taking the sole pressure off of your pocketbook, but you’re also involving everyone so that timeless memories can be made.
Enjoy the Little Things
As we approach a new holiday season, I hope you can remember this: enjoy the simple things -- family, friends, and even your family pet. Before you know it, your kids and grandkids are going to be grown, and you don’t want to look back and feel regret for not spending more time with those you love the most.
Now is the time to put your focus on what truly matters. Even in our world of uncertainty, there is so much for which to be thankful. While we may not be able to control the world around us, we can choose how we respond. Today, tomorrow, and the next day -- we all need to wake up and choose thankfulness.
From our family, to yours, we hope this time of thanksgiving and the start of your holiday season are filled with wonderful memories, moments, and of course, time with family.