Hello and happy Holidays! I hope everyone’s week was fantastic and my last blog is really getting you all geared up for this series I know I am pumped! So lets dive into what I think will be one of the more popular topics of this series and that is all about saving up for Giftmas. No that is not a typo I promise, Christmas is the origin to the season of giving and celebration of the birth of Christ but the Christmas we practice today is truthfully Giftmas. Without diving to deep into the nature of consumerism that has engulfed our entire culture (that’s for another blog) here are a few ways we as a family save up and prepare for the giving season.
I have done a ton of research on the best ways not to allow the holidays to completely drain your savings and just cause constant anxiety over the amount of money you spend in order to show all your loved ones how much you love them. One thing I wish Dylan and I were able to incorporate into our year is saving each month, pay period, or week a certain amount of money to go into our Christmas fund. This is kind of plays off of Dave Ramsey’s envelope method. you put aside say $25 or whatever you can whenever you can so then when it comes time to buy gifs you have a cash kitty and your monthly operation fund is not being dipped into or you don’t have to rack up your credit limit. Another lady I follow over on Pinterest has a pretty clever way to help stash cash. For all my Kroger lovers out there this also is a great way to stock up on fuel points. So what she does is she will grab a Visa gift card and every week when she goes grocery shopping she will round up her grocery bill to the amount she budgets every week and put the difference on the Visa Card. So for example Dylan and I budget $100 per week for food, toiletries, dog food all that jazz. So if we were to implement this and we go to the grocery store and only spend $70 them we would put the remainder $30 on the visa card, and we shop at King Soopers (Kroger) and usually you receive double fuel points for gift cards saving money on all ends is the best and I so hope next year we are a little better at doing this because its genius!
Coupons and Cash Back
After last Christmas I got a big ole check because I really focused all my shopping on sites that I got cash back on from Ebates. You have probably seen the commercials all over and yes its a free site you create a sign in and search the site for stores you like to shop at. They also have a widget (I think is what its called) that hangs out on your tool bar on your computer and if your on a site that overs cash back through Ebates it will prompt if you want to activate the cash back. They also offer ins store cash back options and have an app that keeps mobile shopping easy as pie. Here is my link, a little gift from me to you Ebates Link .Coupons, I know for a lot of people coupons simultaneously go hand in hand with crazy shows where moms stay home and have huge hauls of hundreds of dollars worth of soap and random amounts of toilet paper. But a lot of times close to the holidays stores will offer coupons for about anything you can think of. One of my favorite little tips is to also utilize sites that keep track of promo codes and coupons. If your a target fiend like I am then the cartwheel app will become your best friend! Groupon is another great little trick up your sleeve I think everyone should have when buying gifts. Because for some I know gifting experiences, or nights out are just as fun as trinkets or clothes.
For a little while I was huge into crocheting, when my new nephew was still cooking I actually hand crocheted his name, one letter at a time and then hung them from a branch I found in my back yard. It fit perfectly in his woodland BOHO themed nursery and my sister loved the thought and time I put into hand making his gift. So if you have a skill or not try your hand at making something for your loved ones. I am super into conscious beauty so I really like to know what’s in my products. So my favorite scrub I use for either my lips in this dry Colorado weather or doing a deep exfoliation on my face to help fight cystic acne scars I made myself. Simple 3 ingredients, I put into a petite jar (one I recycled, it was an old garlic jar) with a cute label, it took no time at all and would be a great gift for co workers, or you could add to a basket with some other spa items for your mom to pamper herself. Dylan was super into welding when we were in high school and one valentines day he welded together horseshoes, diamond plate sheets, and made metal roses into a centerpiece I have sitting on my desk in my studio. That to me was one of the most thoughtful gifts he has given me and he takes a lot of pride into the job he did. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it doesn’t have to be professional, you just have to make it with heart and people will love it.
Gift of Service
At church we recently just got done with our marriage series and we touched briefly on the Love Languages and how it can add tacos to your box or take tacos out of your box (tacos are a metaphor for love, great way for our pastor to make it sink in a little better). Immediately when we got into our truck Dylan and I voiced what we thought each of our love language was and if the our spouse had guessed correctly or not. Mine for sure is acts of service and we both knew that off the bat. Sometimes when money is tight or if that person is just super hard to shop for or in my situation has everything known to man, giving the gift of service can be an amazing alternative. Giving time to helping around the house, with kiddos, doing laundry, if you have a specific forte (my mom does reiki and its amazing) gift those to your loved ones. Now I know this from past experience I have a family member that if he doesn’t receive a gift of monetary value and it wasn’t exactly what he asked for he would make a unsolicited comment of disapproval, so to save yourself the discontent know the person receiving the gift. For someone like me or my mom or my sister we love receiving services, and if you want to show us love do something helpful and thoughtful.
Hope you all enjoyed the first official Blogmas Blog and cant wait to share my list of goodies with you guys!