It’s July—So It’s Time to Think Christmas

Sounds crazy, right?

No, I’m not one of those obsessive holiday people. I don’t treat holiday shopping like an Olympic sport, and the only way you’ll catch me out on Black Friday is if we run out of booze. Priorities, people, priorities…

What I am is a stay-at-home mom, in a single-income family, with three kids. Not to mention a mountain of medical bills, school tuitions, and a summertime electric bill that looks like we are air-conditioning Hades. Finances are not my friend these days.

I firmly believe that the holidays should be about making memories, not increasing debt, so planning early is the only way to go for us. By starting now, I have time to spread out expenses, and plan homemade/hand-crafted gifts for all the adults in our family. I love working on their gifts, because it helps remind me (and show the Heathens) the true spirit of the holidays. We spend time planning and thinking about the people we love, instead of just doing a mad dash through overcrowded stores, spending money we don’t really have. If all goes well, we’ll have most of our Christmas gifts done by December, so our holiday season will be one of relaxed togetherness instead of frantic shopping. Even if we did have infinite expendable income, I still don’t think I’d want to spend my December sitting in my car, navigating congested parking lots and snarly shoppers. I’d rather be at home, baking cookies with the Heathens, and watching Charlie Brown Christmas for the 1000th time.

Even if homemade presents aren’t your thing, you might want to keep an eye out, and start picking up a gift here and there. You’ll probably find more stuff, better deals, and you won’t have to arm-wrestle anyone or defend yourself in an unexpected stampede of crazy-eyed bargain hunters. They bite, ya know…

It may only be July, but I’d definitely keep the holidays in the back of your mind. Your end-of-the-year budget will thank you later.

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