Want to have a great Christmas? Stop focusing on what you are going to buy.
We can get so caught up in the decorations, the lights, the tree and the gifts, that we miss the simple beauty.
Christmas is not about what we buy, like, at all.
But I get it, we all get pulled in by the idea of creating a "magical" Christmas for our kids or even just for ourselves.
We do feel obligated to give gifts to everyone, and we want to because we love them.
The problem is all the marketing out there makes us think that we can buy a magical Christmas.
But that kind of magic can't be bought, it has to be created.
The actual gifts are almost completely irrelevant.
What do we really remember about the Christmases of the past?
What memories are strongest and most meaningful or magicalfor you?
I bet few, if any, have anything to do with what you bought, and most, if not all, have to do with what you experienced with your loved ones.
I remember the homemade cookies, the visiting of extended family we hadn't seen since the Christmas before, the Christmas musical put on at church, singing Christmas Carols, watching White Christmas and A Christmas Carol (the Muppet version is our fave),driving around town at night looking at Christmas lights, and on and on.
Yes, there are a few memories about the funniest gifts. Like the year my SIL gave allthe men in the familyfull sleeve tattoo nylons. Hilarious! The laughter went on and on when they all put them on and posed for photos, a bunch ofcomputer geeks trying to look tough. But those haven't seen the light of day since. The actual gift was the laughter.
So many new toys are dull andboring within days, so manynew trinkets end up in the closet along with the 27th scarf we were given.
This year, create that magical Christmas by shifting your gaze from what you are going to buy to what you already have, from what you can spend money on to what you can spend time on.
Stop feeling guilty for even considering not spending a ton on Christmas. I guarantee you that your loved ones don't want you going into debt to give them a gift.
Stop trying to "make it even" when you buy stuff for your kids, having to buy more and more to try to get the spending equal on each of them.
Give more from your heart than your bank account.
I've created myDebt Free Christmas Plannerto help you do just that.
It's just a few simple pages, but they can have a dramatic result when you take the time to dig deep into each page and shift your focus.
Gratitude for what you have- the blessings that we all tend to take for granted, our home, our job, our health, our family, our faith.
Thankfulnessfor your experiences- what you went through this past year that has grown you, that has blessed you, that has delighted you.
Giving of your Time- to your church, to your neighbors, to your kids' school, to your parents, to your loved ones.
Recording of your Family Traditions- past traditions you want to keep, new traditions you want to begin, from making gingerbread houses to sewing felt ornaments to singing Christmas Carols in public.
And yes, even tracking yourGifts Budget, because you probably won't entirely do away with spending money.
Now, I'm going to be straight with you. You don't need to buy this Christmas Planner to do this. You can totally do these things on your own. But will you? If you need a little something to push you to actually do this, this planner will definitely make it easier to actually do.
Plus, you can print a new set of pages each year and date them. How amazing would it be to read through all of these in the years to come!
Sit down with these pages and a cup of something warm and take the time to really focus on what is truly important for you.
I'd recommend doing this now, before you go out Christmas shopping. Get these pages filled up and use them as a compass throughout the Christmas season to keep you from going off track and into debt.
Each day read through what you've written down on these pages, add a new thing or two, and see how much more calm and magical your Christmas can be.