Sunday, December 02, 2007

The dark side of Christmas

Before I start I want to state that I LOVE Christmas!! I love the lights, the music, the decorations, everything really. It makes me happy. When I became a Christian Christmas became even more significant. I hope to pass on my enthusiasm onto my girls.

That said, Christmas has become very very stressful financially. We knew when we chose to have me stay home with the girls there would be sacrifices. We had debt to pay on top of regular monthly bills that were going to stretch us tight. And they have. Yes we were "helped" into debt in the beginning but somewhere along the way every "emergency" made it ok to dip into the available credit. I hate hate hate where we are financially, it makes me feel inadequate, like I can't take care of myself. I think though that I have to forgive myself for the past, let it go and quit beating up on myself. I send myself into overwhelm when I start the hate on myself.

It seems that even while we can be financially responsible during the year at Christmas everything seems to go out the window. I don't want to deprive my girls of anything. Really though what do you remember from Christmas? What is it that makes you all happy and warm around Christmas? I remember decorating the tree, going for a drive and looking at Christmas lights, decorating sugar cookies, making a gingerbread house, visiting, and feasting. Sure I remember the wonder at waking up Christmas morning to a full stocking and gifts under the tree, but it didn't have to be excess, and it wasn't what it was all about. I am not helping Payton learn about Christmas when I am stressed out and distracted. The damage has been done this year as far as the spending goes and truthfully I really enjoy the giving. The choosing, wrapping, and gifting. But I rarely feel like I can live up to expectations.

Next year, and onward we are not going to be doing expensive gifts, birthdays or Christmas. I am going to get creative with what we have and I'm sure our finances will thank me. For the next couple of years we are going to be playing serious catch up. I will not feel sorry for myself when we can't have or do something because sometimes this is what it feels like to take responsibility. I want to teach my girls responsible spending, living within your means. The only way to do that is to live by example.

I hope everyone out there is enjoying the Christmas season!


Shanilie said...

Hi There! I came across your blog via facebook. I saw the title "Dark Side of Christmas" and was interested. I came to check it out and love your blog. Your little girl is so beautiful.

I can relate, after 7 yrs of university things are incredibly tight and are in a difficult place financially. It is too bad that Christmas has become so commercialized.

Miss-buggy said...

"The only way to do that is to live by example."
very true and something I have learned too.
It takes cuts and creativeness in every aspect but it is something we all learn by going through it ourselves. We have to learn and be brought to our knees. That is the hardest part. Where you are so broken you finally get mad enough that you shout "that's it!"
I totally know what you mean. I am there too. I would say it will be ok but the thing is that it will be hard. Sure it may be ok but the thing is it can be hard to see right now in the midst of it all. I have problems seeing myself.
I hope to teach my son better too. You are doing a great job with your girls. I love all that you do for them. We should totally do a day of ginger bread making! I have the mix!
Love you. You are such a great person and I am sorry you are going through this. HUGS

Bridget said...

I totally agree with miss-buggy. I think most young families are in the same boat financially, especially if mom stays at home but it is more than worth it.

It may be hard right now, it is for me and I always feel the need to over compensate by spending too much at Christmas. My kids always talk about the activities they do at home with me more than they talk about how many gifts they have or what they got. Half the time they forget who gave it to them. You might have to get creative and that's o.k. to. Try not to stress and have a very Happy Holiday season!