I Used To Stress About The Holidays, Until–

Okay, I’m not gonna lie–I still stress about the holidays. πŸ˜…πŸ˜…πŸ˜…Β But not NEARLY as much as I used to!

I know I said I’d be posting about a pretty emotional issue this time, but I’ve been having technical difficulties with that one…that will be next, I promise!

In the meantime, I came across this picture on Facebook this morning, so I felt like I needed to post about it.

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I had to ask myself, “Why, though?” Why does it have to be like that? I know the pressure is on around the holidays to give our families the “Perfect Christmas…” but why does this “Perfect Christmas” have to be so centered on gifts?

Yes, I understand we want our kids and our families to be happy and have the best, and it feels good to see a loved one’s face light up when you get them that perfect gift. Hearing the words, “How did you know!?” has the same effect as any good drug, in my opinion.

I used to agonize over what to get people for Christmas. I used to spend HOURS at the Mall going over random items debating in my head whether or not to buy them.

I’d ask myself, “Will so-and-so actually like this?” “Is this enough? What else should I get to go with it?” “Am I spending enough on this person?”

But everything changed when the Fire Nation attacked… πŸ”₯πŸ‘Š

Haha sorry, I couldn’t resist. πŸ˜…πŸ˜‚

πŸŽ„How Being A Mom Has Stopped My Christmas StressπŸ‘©β€πŸ‘¦

So my husband has always been very cost-efficient *coughcoughcheapcoughcough* and his money-saving skills have kept us living pretty comfortably over the 4+ years we’ve been married.

Me? Not so much. I was lucky to have about $200 in my savings when we merged our bank accounts. Let’s just say it was a blessing that I never had a credit card in my early twenties… πŸ˜¬πŸ’ΈπŸ’³

So much like Dr. Hammond in the original Jurassic Park, when it came to Christmas I used to “Spare no expense.” But, seeing as how I’m young with expendable income anymore, I’ve had to learn to adapt.

I’m sure I don’t need to tell you all that having kids is expensive. It’s so true that they’re like those free apps with all the in-app purchases. They come with HELLA DLC, and you kind of need it to properly play the parenting game…

That being said, that leaves a lot less money to get people the type of gifts I used to be able to. Which admittedly at first was a little depressing, but it’s actually been more of a blessing than a curse.

Now that I don’t have tons of money burning a hole in my NES controller wallet, I have to think twice as hard about what to get people, and it has to fit within a tight budget.Β 

Because of this, I’ve learned to be much more thoughtful in what I give. Yes, the gifts are smaller, but they’re much more meaningful and practical, so my loved ones appreciate them more.

I’ve also begun making more things than buying, and even though my DIY skills could get me a spot on the Netflix series “Nailed It,” people are still genuinely happy when they get them, because they’re tailored to their interests and it really shows that I thought of them.

BTW stay tuned for what I think could be a pretty useful holiday hack for next year πŸ˜‰πŸ˜‰

How You Can Let Go Of Some Of That Holiday Tension

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My response to the above image. Less Is More!

I feel like these days we’ve begun glorifying stress around the holidays. We stress about what to wear, what to cook, what photos to take, who to send cards to, what to buy, etc. We’re constantly bombarded with commercials commanding us to “Act Now!” so that we hurry and buy whatever it is they’re selling.

And let’s not forget the constant reminder of how many shopping days there are left until Christmas.

And as I mentioned before, I completely understand wanting to get the perfect gifts for loved ones. That’s why I haven’t completely stopped buying them. But, if it’s not reasonably within our budget, we shouldn’t feel compelled to go into debt just to satisfy a societal pressure to check off that list.

The whole point of that post, at least in my interpretation, was to say that parents with kids whose birthdays are close to Christmas have a rough go of it because they’re expected to buy extra for them. If that’s really your thing, then again, no judgement! But, it doesn’t have to be that way!

I’m trying to get in the habit of minimalism for my kids, as I’ve mentioned before. There’s so many benefits to it, and getting them in the habit early will help in the long run!

So if you’re a parent and have kids with Christmastime birthdays, and you’re stressing about how to make it all work, this could help! Do some modest gift-giving for Christmas and give a fulfilling experience (check your local library for ways to do this within a budget) as a birthday gift, allowing them to pick out a single souvenir.

Alternatively, if you’re having a birthday party for your child, odds are they’re going to get a slew of gifts from guests. You could try getting one meaningful gift for their birthday to show how special they are, and then give the smaller, but still special gifts for Christmas.

Sorry if this post didn’t make much sense this time! I’m working under a deadline at my library’s computer. Hopefully this helped bring a little insight and made you feel better if you’re struggling with stress right now.

Remember, it’s the most wonderful time of the year.

Thanks for reading, my gals! Next time will be the emotional post.

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Less is More: What We Got Our Son For Christmas

((Another phone post! Gotta keep up momentum! 😘😘))

Henlo all! Hope your Christmases (if you celebrate it) were filled with love, good health, and fun! Ours was busy, but magical!

It was my son’s first Christmas, and got spoOo0o0oOo0o0iled! All of his family and friends were so excited to shower him with lovely gifts; clothes, toys, books, all of it very much appreciated! We’ll definitely enjoy them together for as long as possible.

While the generosity of our loved ones does not go unnoticed, having a 600 square foot apartment doesn’t leave us with much to work with in terms of storage. It was hard enough to keep our dwelling clean as a childfree couple (neither my husband nor I are the most organized people πŸ˜…), but add a baby into that mix and our little home quickly becomes a wampa cave.

This and the fact that we want our kids to be as non-materialistic as possible, and rely more on creativity and logic to independently entertain themselves, we’ve decided to adopt the minimalism rule of gift-giving: Something they like, something they need, something to wear, something to read. This is what we based our first Christmas gifts on for my son, and he not even being 5 months old, it doesn’t make much difference to him what we got, but I felt getting into the habit now and having him grow up with it will help make it just a way of life as he gets older. I’m working on getting my family and friends in on the concept, as well!

Anyway, here’s what we got for our son as a visual example!

Something He Likes

So as I mentioned, my son is just shy of 5 months, so he doesn’t really have much that he definitively likes aside from formula and shininess, but we kept in mind what he might like as he gets older and is able to play more independently

We found this guy on Amazon–we had gotten an Amazon gift card for our Baby shower which we used for gifts this year (we’d already gotten all we needed for our little guy), and found a waiting room toy for relatively cheap. We feel he’ll enjoy all of the multiple functions of this toy, the bead dragging, shape-fitting, etc, as he gets old enough to play on his own.

Something He Needs

Our Little Vinny has already had his first cold (at least we suspect so), so we purchased him some cold supplies. We found a nice all-natural version of vapo-rub for babies to rub on his chest and feet, an all-natural saline spray for stuffy nose, and fever bugs to stick on his forehead to see if he’s got a fever and/or bug!

Something to Wear

I had purchased a few holiday articles of clothing for Vinny in November, and saved this sweater for Christmas Eve and Christmas as his Something to Wear. The little reinfawn looked so cute in his ugly sweater 😍 🦌

Something to Read

This book popped out at me while Amazon shopping, and I was instantly in love! It’s a simple book that helps encourage using your imagination by listing several animals and explaining why they, like Transformers, are “more than meets the eye.”So cute! And that’s our Baby’s first minimalist Christmas gift! What did your little ones get this year? Thinking of taking up minimalism? I’m addicted to minimalism on Pinterest, myself! Best wishes for the New Year! Tune in next time for the final installment of my first Pregnancy Saga: the Third Trimester!