Season of service

Christmas is such a special time of year. We have the food, family, parties, watching movies and all sorts of other fun. All of that is amazing and I look forward to it every year. I have started to think that maybe Christmas could more enjoyable if we took the spirit of the season, you know that peace on earth and good will toward men, as motivation.

What if we took that to heart and actually serve one another during the Christmas season? What I am thinking of is maybe after Thanksgiving we should start weekly or more often service projects. I mean going out and doing service projects in secret for friends, family, neighbors and other people in need.

Maybe it’s something simple like shoveling a neighbors walk. Or we leave a plate of cookies at our neighbors house. We could offer to watch someone’s kids so they can go shopping for Christmas presents. Offer to keep an eye on the neighbors house that will be traveling during the holiday season.

It could be anything that you think would help another person enjoy the holidays more. Some of you may already be doing this. For those of us that are not can you imagine the change this bring to our Christmas season? The joy and happiness this would bring? Not just to those we serve but in our lives as well! The greatest lesson and blessing this will be teaching your kids about service. Also making this into a fun holiday tradition.

I hope that everyone of you that are reading this will decide to do service this holiday season. This may only feel like we are only making little changes to those around us. The reality is as it grows in our own little way will be changing the world and making the holidays better for everyone. I hope you’ll make this a goal and join me in doing this this year.

Please send me your comments, thoughts about things that you are doing or will do. Or the experiences that you have in rendering service. I can’t wait to hear all about it! Thank you!

Saving money on Christmas shopping.

One of the most stressful and complained about parts of Christmas is the money spent. Here are some ideas I have had to help out with that part of it.

One thing you should do is put some money away now. There are several savings accounts out there that will automatically pull money out of your checking account and put it in a separate savings account. This can quickly add up and help you divert some of those Christmas expenses. This might help lessen the January credit card bills and that is a good thing.

Another thing you can do to offset some of the Christmas expenses, is use a store’s lay-a-way plan. The big one is Walmart’s lay-a-way plan and that one starts 8/31/18. I know it’s still summer and you don’t want to do any Christmas shopping. Trust me though you want to do this with the big expensive items that you know family or friends will want. It is easy to do as well. You just put the items you want to put on lay-a-way in your cart. Then you walk to the back of the store and tell them you want to put these items on lay-a-way. They will take your information and you just pay 10% of the total to get started. The full amount is due on the second week in December. That allows you to make monthly or weekly payments on your items from 8/31 until around 12/14. This will make Christmas so much less stressful and maybe you can even throw in a present or two for yourself.

Another way you can lessen the amount you pay on Christmas presents is to go to a site like QVC.com. Why would you want to use one of those shopping TV channels? Well because they have a great program called “easy pay”. QVC offers easy pay on a lot of their items. This allows you to break up the total cost of the item into monthly payments. They offer 3, 4, 5 and even 6 month easy payments. No credit check is required and they ship the item to you while you are still making payments. Yes I agree paying for a Christmas present for 6 months after the holidays can be a bummer, but it will allow you to keep more money in your bank account in the month of December. Another nice thing is QVC offers lots of brand names like Apple, Kitchenaid and others. A downside to using QVC is that can be more expensive than other sites like Amazon. So make your choices wisely.

I hope these ideas help you with your spending and stress around Christmas. Let me know if there is something different you do to save money around the holidays.

What is this all about?

 

You are probably a lot like me. Growing up Christmas was always my favorite holiday. There were the decorations, presents, family traditions and of course all the great food. It was the time of year when my family and everyone else tried to be nice to each other. Everything about the Christmas holiday always got me so excited and I looked forward to every minute of it.

 

Then I got older and had a family of my own. I was still absolutely in love with Christmas and could not wait to have traditions of my own. As the years went on Christmas was a lot of work and money but I still loved it. I found myself worried about money and arguing about how much we should spend on presents. Arguing about spending money on traveling for Christmas experiences or spending money on presents. Then spending months after Christmas trying to pay off the debt we had accumulated.

 

I was finding myself starting to hate Christmas. I wrote a Facebook post about how I was starting to feel about the Christmas season. I got a lot of responses. To my surprise many people were feeling the same way I was. Several people were saying they didn’t feel like Christmas was worth it anymore. Or how they are being told on the Christmas commercials if they don’t spend enough they don’t love their family. This caught me off-guard, I honestly thought I would get a pep talk about the real meaning of Christmas or something. But I knew I can’t let this happen to me that I stop celebrating Christmas.

 

So, I knew that something needed to change. Christmas means too much to me to start hating it. So that is why I started this blog. This is my journey to restore my love of the Christmas season. I know it is July and you are busy thinking about summer stuff. I get it! But what I am learning is that to do the big Christmas celebrations we may want to do we have to start doing things now. So that way we have most of our” to do” list done, and we can enjoy the important part, time with family and friends.

 

So, come along on this journey as you and I try to start enjoying our Christmas again.