Saturday, July 14, 2012

Christmas In July?

Normally, I am the one that despises the Christmas shopping.  The "who to buy for" list and adding up the cost of everything.  Oh, the cost!  But this year, I am pumped!  It's only July, but I have our list ready to go with who to buy for, how much to spend on each person and an {empty} spreadsheet with ideas for each person.  Obviously, it's July and the nieces and nephews haven't started their "I wants" yet.  But I'm trying to be proactive here.

Like I said, I created this spreadsheet--more like a chart right now...  But I want to be sure that we are planning for every person and every extra expense that Christmas may throw at us.  Right now, I am up to seventeen people (and Kinley, of course) that have made the cut.  We don't buy for the adults {aside from our parents and grandparents} but only for the kids.  We are blessed with lots of little ones!  But then I also added in the holiday cards, wrapping and postage.  What am I forgetting?

I have noticed that the last couple of years, the participating families sending Christmas cards are just dwindling.  It really makes me sad.  That is one of the best parts about the holidays.  You get mail that isn't a bill!  And normally, that mail has adorable family photos that you want to see.  Photos of people that you rarely get to see!  As easy as photo cards are these days {we do ours at Walmart} why doesn't everyone send them?!  So here it is July, and I'm asking you now, to send me a photo card.  Mmmm, K?  It makes my heart smile.

I did a quick search on my beloved Pinterest for Christmas photo ideas this morning and came up with nothing.  I want to be prepared!  I know that some cards have cute summer photos on them and I wanted to see if I could be inspired to take something now for the card later.  Okay, honestly, I am hoping and praying for this kind of card:
but I know that our chances are way slim.  So I'm planning for the family of three card photo.  And so far, nodda.  I'm hoping that I can con convince one of my fancy camera friends to take on the challenge of doing our family Christmas pictures {hint, hint}.  Last year=expensive nightmare. {and for whatever reason, I can not find a single picture from that photo session.  I will keep looking.}

We decided on a tradition that Santa can only bring three gifts to our house because of his sleigh only being able to hold so many toys for all of the children of the world.  We plan to continue that this year.  So her big gift will be from us and then Santa will bring her three more.  And this year, she just may be able to get in to the gift of giving and I am so, so excited.  And let me clarify--this is still going to be a Christmas on a budget. We are not being extravagant on gifts--because that to me {us} is stupid.  And since I'm always honest on here, I will tell you now that we will spend a total {and not a penny more} of $870.  That is for all seventeen people, Kinley, cards, postage, wrapping, and each other.  Is that high?  Do share--because I am honestly interested.  And if I can save money, you bet I'm going to do it!  My goal is to come on here in January and announce how UNDER budget we were from Christmas.

I was informed on my personal FB account this morning {have you "liked" Living on Trees on FB yet?  why not?} I was told that every Thursday through the summer, Target clearances their toys.  I will be there every Thursday for the rest of the summer.  I don't know what I am shopping for yet, but if I see a good deal, I am on it.

And I can be on it already, thanks to Connie--the budget coach!  We are almost fully funded for all expenses Christmas.  Yes, that is a first for me, ever, like--ever.  To not put Christmas on plastic, and not stress to holy heaven about how to pay for Christmas--you just don't even know.

I guess that's why I am writing a Christmas in July blog post.  I can finally ENJOY the holiday for what it's about.  Creating the memories, not the debt.  And if you haven't started your savings yet, it's not too late!  You still have 163 days left to save!

1 comment:

Christy said...

I'll take pictures if you want! :)

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