Even When You Aren’t Prepared I was a little nervous this year coming into the Holiday Season. 

Since being on my DMP I have done my best to prepare for giving gifts on Birthdays or Christmas or Weddings or any type of event.  This year my husband and I encountered so many challenges and unplanned situations that I kept telling myself that I would start preparing for Christmas after 'such and such happened' or after whatever bill was paid.

Well, I ended up running out of time and just figured that this year was going to be a year where we could not give presents. 

Then I started to really think about what I could do based on what we had and I came up with some options and some neat ideas.  I am looking over the gifts I have for friends and family and I am pretty proud of what I have done this year.  It gave me another "aha" moment - after being a "veteran" in the DMP program and think that I can't come up with another creative thought to overcome a challenge, I still have a lot left in me! 

Some of the things that allowed me to make Christmas memorable without completely stressing me out financially:

1. My nieces and nephews - made them ornaments that represent what they mean to me and also got them magazine subscriptions for magazines that are about things they really like in life, bonus - what kid doesn't love to get mail every month!

2. ON-LINE SHOPPING.  Really, I can't say how much this saved my butt this year!  I would find the neatest gifts, then look at the price tags and get really depressed.  So, I would take that really neat expensive list and spend some time on-line researching it and it never failed, I would find the same exact thing, or in some cases no-name brands, for up to 50% off the retail price.  Add in finding promo codes for free shipping or extra % off - definitely a win!

3. Having a party.  Yep - I decided for those people that I normally like to buy little things for that are special in my life but can't this year, we would host a Christmas party with a small gift exchange.  I provide the main food dishes and everyone else brings either a drink or dessert.  So instead of spending money on gifts, we spend the money on a night of fun and being together.

So this year may not be the biggest year for gifts, but I have put a lot of effort into the ones that I got so they represent the thought behind the gift.  Plus, getting all my friends together to celebrate will be great and long overdue. 

I think sometimes we get caught up in what we can't do and can't provide and forget to put the same effort in what we can do.  Looking forward to the Holidays this year and what 2013 has in store for me!

Related Posts:

Holiday Traditions

Holiday Shopping Highlights

Katie Lupo, Debt Management Plan Customer with CareOne Services, Inc. Katie Lupo

Katie is currently enrolled in the CareOne Debt Relief Services Debt Management Plan (DMP). You can read more about Katie's experience in the My Journey out of Debt and A Straight Talk on Debt blogs. In her blog, Katie explores life without credit cards, living on a 'real' budget and making the adjustment from spender to saver. Katie has been blogging about her DMP since she started and has over four years of experience on the plan. Compensated Blogger for CareOne Debt Relief Services.