About a month ago I was unemployed. I was looking around me, listening to the radio and watching the TV and everywhere I was overwhelmed with the knowledge that Christmas was coming (a month before Thanksgiving!) I was overwhelmed and stressed. Very stressed, because I had no idea how we were going to get down to Oregon to see my sister-in-law and her family for Christmas, let alone give gifts to anyone. I was on the verge of telling our parents that we just couldn't do anything for Christmas this year, when I got a job. And everything changed.
Suddenly, we could afford things again. We are working (slowly) on building up our savings, paying off debts and basically getting our feet back under ourselves. Along with the ability to pay our bills, we suddenly had the freedom and money to buy Christmas gifts for our families. However, having the freedom to do this is one thing, but actually using our entire budget for Christmas is another.
Frugality is not synonymous with the word cheap. While many people may think it is, it really is not...if you are creative. One of the things I have enjoyed so much this year is being creative. Whether that meant finding a simple, but sentimental gift or searching Craigslist, Freecycle, Amazon (used books) or our local thrift store for something used, there is something exciting in the thrill of the search, and the process of trying to find something exciting and fun to give.
You know what? I think I'll do this every year!
Check out my other posts on doing Christmas on a tight budget!