The fact that I am about to write a bit on the holiday season is so NOT me.  I am not a holiday person and to talk about it this far in advance seems crazy, yet, not so crazy when you want your holidays to run smoothly and stress free. 

I grew up having incredible holidays - I come from an Italian, Catholic family and it always seemed that our Christmas lasted for days with a revolving door of family coming in and out.  It's funny, but I really can't remember the gifts; what I do remember were the games we played, sledding outside at night, us cousins putting on shows every hour, and someone playing Santa every year and trying to figure out who it would be each year.  At that time, it really wasn't about the gifts.  It was about the memories.  Then-- I don't know when-- something happened.

I can blame it on a lot of things, but I really think it is because our society has had to adjust quite a bit.  Now it is unusual to live in the same town as most of your relatives and extended family.  People have to move to make a living.  I am a victim of that. I live about 500 miles away from immediate and extended family, and each year we struggle to figure out a way to bring back that "Christmas Magic." 

It was last year after I got engaged that I decided it was time to make my own Magic.  My holiday traditions were great, but you can't recreate them; what I want to do is make them new again.  My husband and I are going to spend this holiday season in our home, starting our own wonderful traditions.  We will take time off of work and not travel.  We will visit with local friends who we always say we will visit and then never do.  We will visit a variety of Christmas light displays.  We will sleep downstairs on the floor with our 2 dogs on Christmas Eve, after we attend a Midnight Mass.  We will ask families to do something unique as it relates to gift-giving, such as:  give to a treasured charity, buy gifts for a Giving Tree, or have just one family member to give a homemade gift to, etc.,   instead of spending money on gifts we don't need.

This article covers many holiday challenges, plus the after-holiday challenges!  Don't forget - put that credit card away; you will hate yourself when the bill comes in January!

http://www.simpledebtfreeliving.com/frugal-family-christmas.html

And I LOVE this article and plan to incorporate some of these ideas into our new traditions.

http://beingfrugal.net/2007/11/07/50-frugal-christmas-ideas/

So, whether you have children or not, there are many things that you can do to truly enjoy your holiday season for the true reason it is.  I plan on having a great season this year!

Related Posts:

A Change in Financial Seasons

How to Save Money this Holiday Season

The Bliss of Forethought for Holiday Shopping

Katie Simmons

Katie is a participant in the CareOne Debt Management Plan. Katie is a contributing writer for the Single & settling in blog. Katie's story is not unique.  She lived beyond her means and it caught up to her!  Over 2 years ago she made the decision that no one could get her out of the mess she created with her debt, but her.  Since then, she has embarked on an adventure of learning how to take care of herself without credit cards in her life and how hard it can be to be single and in debt.  She is experiencing every challenge and every success while working her hardest to be debt free. Compensated CareOne Blogger.

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