“Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken.” -Warren Buffett

It's the most wonderful time of the year! Christmas with a budget!

Our family really enjoys celebrating Christmas and the entire holiday season.  There are many reasons, the first of which is our faith.  Next to that we deeply value the downtime with each other and our extended family.

Each year at this time of year I can't help but see the consumerism all around us.  Black Friday sales that starts weeks before this "event" that is focused on endless spending on the new big ticket items for people who probably already have far more than they need.

Each year we pare down on how much we purchase, and really try to think through why we're making the purchases we're making.  In our home, our kids rarely get toys or gifts outside of Christmas and birthdays (even then we tend to do present-free parties for the kids - more on this in another post).  We have an abundance of stuff, as is evidenced with each load we take to the thrift store, or just by taking a look around.  It all ends up needing to be managed, cleaned up, cleaned around, organized and so on.  We're just burdening ourselves with more possessions.

Sweet puppy with homemade gifts from our girls
We made a decision in our extended family as we started having kids that we wouldn't exchange Christmas presents (other than with our parents but even that is minimal).  Instead we try to do things together when we can (a trip to the zoo, or skating, a pool party or sledding).  The kids don't miss those gifts at all.

During this peak season of retail spending, I encourage you to take a step back, think about consumable gifts, experiences, and other ways you can lighten the financial, mental and emotional load of Christmas and truly enjoy the season of togetherness.

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