This Thursday is Thanksgiving.
I can’t believe it. I swear, it was just mid-September and I’m not prepared AT ALL.
To me its the official start to Holiday and Christmas season and, sadly, probably the more stressful time of year financially for the majority of us. Grocery bill spikes, heating and electric bill goes up, property taxes are due, Christmas decorations and of course… The gift shopping! I’m getting stress hives just thinking about it.
I love gift giving, its actually one of love languages, but at this stage of our financial life the budget comes first and the past few years Kyle and I have had to implement lean Christmas practices to combat with the rise of other bills.
If you watch my Instagram stories you might notice the lack of seasonal decorating happening at the Freed house. Its not because I’m a grinch or a scrooge. I just can’t justify spending money on faux greenery, multiple Christmas trees or other decor that ill just be boxing up in 2 months. There’s nothing wrong with spending money on all things Christmas and I have no doubt that when we can afford to buy seasonal decor I will go full HAM. But for now, I’ve declared myself to be a Christmas minimalist!
Going simple on the decor is one aspect of having a lean Christmas. Another is not going broke buying other’s gifts. Again, nothing against spending money on those we love the most but I’m sure no one wants you to decided between spending a ton of money on gifts or having to buy groceries next month.
The past 2 years we have successfully kept Christmas gift spending to under $300. And that includes EVERYBODY. My family, Kyle’s family, the grandparents & pets. A true Christmas miracle in my book! The main gifts that we give might be other people’s stocking stuffers but at least it’s something! I’m usually able to do this by keeping everyone’s individual gifts to $25 and under but still keep it personal and utilitarian for the person on the gift receiving end.
I’m not writing this to make anyone feel bad, to money-shame or gift-shame. I’m writing this for people that feel pressure to keep up with the Jones, especially during the holidays, but don’t have the budget to do so. I’ve done it and it put me in some pretty tight spots money-wise. It’s not talked about enough, but, do what is right for you and your bank account. Not someone else’s.
To make things a little easier, I spotlighted some awesome Etsy shops that have some very affordable gift options, some of which you can customize.
Hopefully this post can help you with some gift ideas or, at least, give you the peace of mind knowing that you are not alone if it is a lean Christmas kind of year.
Happy Holiday Budgeting!
For the Sister
Mustard Seed Faith Necklace $24 (The Vintage Nest VA)
Oven Mitt & Pot Holder Set with Marble Print $10 (Hello Delicious)
For the Brother
Custom Office Coffee Mug $17 (Hugs with the Mugs)
Personalized Docking Station $25 (Goozeberry Hill)
For the Husband
State Bottle opener $12 (RV Metal Shop)
For the Kids
Puppy Pile-up OR Stack the Cats $23 (Knightingale Crafts)
For the Pets
Blueberry Gourmet Treats $10 (WB Dogs Treats)
For the BFF
Sunflower Seed Bomb $18 (Love By Bean)
For the Grandparents
Set of 2 Bible Verse Kitchen Tea Towels $18 (My Belladonna Design)
P.S. Make sure to Shop small at your favorite local business for Small Business Saturday on the 24th!