The Sweetie Chronicles

Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart. ~William Wordsworth

Christmas on a Budget

What? A Christmas post in mid-November? Well, there's no use saying it's too early. There were Christmas decorations up at the local mall well before Halloween. There's no use even complaining about it. Every year, we complain about how early the Christmas decorations go up and the music begins to play, and every year they continue to put them up earlier and earlier. My theory is that this year, they went up super early because the malls and shopowners are struggling financially. They are hoping that the wreaths and the jolly music will remind us all about the people in our lives who are expecting presents this year. They are hoping we will all run out and spend a bunch of money for the next two months so that they can stay in business. There's only one fatal flaw in this logic.

No one has any money to spend.

This year, Christmas is on a strict budget for everyone I know. People in my family (including me for the most part) are doing hand-made gifts this year instead of buying traditional presents. G and I are getting married and where my parents would usually have bought us tons of presents for the holiday and something separate for our wedding, the budget for them calls for one combo gift that will have to work for both events. Do we care? Not one bit, and I'll tell you why. We understand what it's like to be struggling right now financially, and no matter what the businesses and corporations want us to believe, presents simply are not the most important thing about Christmas. Or weddings for that matter!

The most exciting parts of the season this year for me are my wedding and spending time with my family. It's my neice, Sami's first Christmas and I can't wait to see her and spend time with her. My sister and her family always come and spend the night, and my neice Kanon is getting old enough to enjoy other parts of the holiday like baking cookies and playing games. It will be fun to spend time with all of my family over the holidays, and of course, being around G the whole time without him having to work means three full weeks of us being together nonstop. Those are the most important things this year for Christmas, and those things fit perfectly into everyone's budget.

If you are stressing out this year about affording Christmas, just step back and think about the true reason for the season. No, I'm not going to lecture you about the baby Jesus or anything. But the true meaning of Christmas is family. Love. Happiness. Not presents and debt and stress. Stop being a slave to the demands of the holiday and the expectations put on you by traditions of spending thousands over the holidays. Yes, I know that businesses need this season to survive, so go support them if you can afford it. But family comes first. Happiness comes first. If you're stressed about money, do what we're doing in my family and pare down your Christmas budget. Make presents by hand or buy less and don't worry about it. Just vow to spend time with the people you love this year and understand that for a season of joy, that's all any of us really need to be happy.

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Sarra Cannon

Young Adult Indie Author

I always secretly wanted to be a cheerleader. And a witch. Now, I write about both. The first five novels in my Peachville High Demons Young Adult Paranormal series are available now in ebook!

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Beautiful DemonsThe Time Traveler's WifeLoveroot: PoemsFear of FlyingWe the LivingAnthem

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