It’s Christmas night and my children are all asleep. I reflect on the craziness of the day. My daughter woke me up at 5:15 am. Then she woke up her brothers. I walked out of my room to see every light in the house on and the xylophone was already being played with; loudly, I might add. I’m not a big gift giver, it’s just not in my nature. I’m more of a spend time with you kind of person. I do my best to make Christmas special because I remember the good memories that I had as a child, plus my husband insists on presents because that is his love language. Each kid got one big present, something they could play with, and some new clothes. I should also probably mention the candy. Lots of it. AND I let them eat all they wanted today because tomorrow it will be put away. It is Christmas after all.
Preparing for Christmas started 12 months ago. I bank at a Credit Union. Love it. Mostly because of the sub-accounts. I have 10 of them. Most importantly, one for Christmas. Every single time my husband got paid, money was transferred into the Christmas Club Account. By the time October 1st rolled around, we had money to start buying Christmas presents. We figured out what we wanted for each child and then I started looking for sales. We hit the mother load with Black Friday sales. I have to admit, I was one of those people that was out shopping on Thanksgiving evening after we put the kids to bed. To get Christmas Eve PJ’s for $4.75 with ELSA and BATMAN was an amazing find. I even found our Christmas church outfits for 60% off. For the first time EVER, our family looked super cute and MATCHY. I felt like a mom that had it all together. In September I found a huge bag of trucks for $5 at a consignment sale that our town has twice a year. What a huge hit when my 3 year old opened the box. He SCREAMED with delight. BUS, he shouted. He was jumping up and down. Man I felt so good that I had found a present that he would love and for a price that I would love.
I know Christmas isn’t about the money, it’s about Christ and celebrating his birth. It’s about creating memories with your family. It’s about service, Secret Santa’s, giving cookies to your neighbors, sending out Christmas cards, having dinners, and giving presents. Plan ahead so that you don’t need to feel stressed, guilty, or worried about how to pay for something after the holidays or if you can afford gifts at all, so that you can have the money to give service. My message to you on this Christmas day is to start planning now for next Christmas. Open up that sub-account and start saving to create memories next year. Your children will thank you later.