Welcome to our lean Christmas!
Starting your own business is not without sacrifice. Things that seemed important pre-small business and pre-Paleo AIP (AKA lattes and eating dinner out) aren’t as important anymore.
And since we’re still in the beginning stages of trying to make up for lost time when I first became self-employed (there’s a delay between working and getting paid, did you know? ;-)) and I haven’t quite got up to replacing my income (when you factor in taxes on income and taxes on free mattresses…. OUCH), I’m safe in saying there’s not much disposable when it comes to our Christmas budget.
Here’s how we’re ringing in the season spending less than ever, but in a way that doesn’t feel like a sacrifice:
Christmas Draws for Family
No, not Christmas drawers… though buying everyone boxers could probably save some money, too.
JHubbs and I are blessed that both sides of our family have moved to “Christmas Draws,” in which each couple or person chooses one couple or person and treats them to a nice gift or set of gifts.
This brought our spending from $25 per person in our family (ouch) to $50 on one side and $100 on the other side (less ouch!). There’s still a little mystery, and there’s still a fun gift, but with much less cash output. Kids under 18 still get fun gifts, though! So we’re countering that with home-made surprises that I won’t ruin on the blog :-).
Christmas Card Replaces Christmas Gift
To any friends reading this…. sorry, haha! This year, our Christmas Card replaced our Christmas gifts to many friends and family members.
We’ll still pack the emergency wine bottle when we hop on the road, but otherwise we traded out spending money on gifts with spending time updating our friends and family members on what we’ve been up to this year. So far, no one’s upset! :-)
Think About the Financial Blessings You’ve Already Got
When you start to get present-greedy, calling attention to financial blessings is really, really helpful. Instead of lusting after the pretty things this season, I made some paper ornaments of Christmas blessings we don’t need to worry about.
Things like, Slowly doubling my per-post rate and Last-minute changing our non-refundable hotel reservations with no fee. We could also add to that Paying our rent in a gorgeous apartment, and Affording Paleo AIP foods for me.
These things have really helped us financially and “didn’t cost anything” outside our normal budget. In fact, these are things that even some with high-paying jobs or expensive Christmases might not have. Spending time remembering that makes you feel very rich indeed.
Overall, I still feel like I’ve been blessed with an amazing opportunity that covers all the birthday and Christmas gifts I could want for a long, long time. And one that’s encouraged me to consider my non-gift blessings. So when people ask me what I want for Christmas, I can confidently ask for, “More of the same!”.