We Skipped the Commercial Side of Christmas….and it Made Me a Better Person

2017 was not the most forgiving year. It was also not the most profitable year, so we decided that we were going to skip the commercial side of Christmas.

This was my first attempt.

No Christmas tree decorations. No presents. No planning a family get together. No Holiday cards.

It felt weird…..at first.

But then I remembered how weird it felt for the first 20 years of living in Florida of having sand instead of snow, and Palm Trees instead of Douglas Firs. It was something new – not necessarily exciting, but new.

On the actual holiday is when it hit me. I don’t know if we made the right decision. It was too weird. No Turkey and Ham in the oven. No baked pies. No caramelizing sweet potatoes simmering away.  But then it suddenly felt like any other day. Sure, we were going out for Christmas dinner with a few friends later, but we didn’t have anything else planned.

The feeling of weird was still there, just a little more pronounced.

Later in the early afternoon, I was thinking about the holiday itself. The meaning of the holiday didn’t change, we just took the commercial part out of it. It was still a day of celebration with friends and family – I just wasn’t hosting it (saving $250 just on the cost of food alone was shocking).

In turn, we saved hundreds of dollars. Our to-do list and grocery list was converted to a mere $38.00 for two at a Chinese restaurant –  Iconic? I know. But this may become our new tradition.

……a new tradition……

We spend hundreds of dollars each year outside of holiday shopping on each other – and as things get more advanced in life, so does the price. As I remember it, Christmas was once a teddy bear, pair of slippers and a t-shirt. Today it’s a smartphone, a 4K television, and a new laptop.

Here is my little run down on the costs of the holidays:

Food for Hosting Christmas Dinner ($250), Gifts ($1000), Cards and Stamps to Send ($100) and Gas / Tolls ($500). This is the basic from MY normal holiday spending – without my significant other’s spending and without buying gifts for anyone outside the household. $1850.00.

When you think about a new high end smartphone costs almost $1000, it’s easy to get lost in Christmas spending…..and you probably don’t even realize it until you try to pay things off in January.

So here’s a new idea. Stop buying gifts for the holidays, since you buy them all year round for each other / yourself, or convert your gift giving around the holidays to more personalized and less expensive gifts (like a personalized gift or shirt from beefygeek.com)- even a handmade gift is more personable and appreciative than anything you can buy in a store.  Donate your time to a shelter.

There is so much to think about now, isn’t there?

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