Friday, December 22, 2017

Christmas: Yes and No

After yesterday's downer post, I'm switching gears to something a little bit more fun - another 'yes and no' post - this time about the holidays!

Around Christmas time, this is what we say yes and no to!

We say yes to:

- sending out Christmas cards. However, since we send 100 cards (which I will need to increase next year as more of Phil's extended family is sending us cards so we need to reciprocate in the future), I go with the cheapest option because I know it's going to end up in the garbage. I love seeing the other fancy tinyprints cards but I could not stomach the cost associated with the nicer styles of cards given the volume we order! We are just too cheap!  I also say yes to using address labels that I print off my computer instead of hand addressing the cards. My handwriting is dreadful!

- an artificial tree. I love the idea of a real tree, but again, we are cheap frugal people and it's more economical to have an artificial tree. It would be nice to have that fresh tree smell in the house but it's also nice to not have to hassle with going somewhere to buy the tree each year!

- being flexible about how we spend time with our families at Christmas. Some years we are able to see one side on Christmas Eve and the other on Christmas Day, like we did last year, but that won't work this year since all the traveling would just exhaust me. So instead we will spend Christmas Eve/Day with Phil's mom and then we'll spend NYE weekend with my parents. Yes, it's super hard to not be there for my family's Christmas celebration, but it will be nice to have 2 solid days with each side of our family instead of rushing from one celebration to another. I'm grateful that my parents are so understanding. We've probably spent more time around Christmas with Phil's mom than with my family over the last several years because if we aren't with Phil's mom then she is alone (she's a widow). But my parents are very understanding and never make me feel bad for how we split our time.

We say no to:

- exchanging gifts as a couple. Instead we make a special meal together. Usually we bake a GF treat after dinner but that won't be happening this year since sweets are off limits with my GD diagnosis. In general, we say no to gift exchanges as much as we can. I don't exchange gifts with my siblings and my siblings pool the money we would have spent on my parents' gift to sponsor a family. Gifts are dead last in my list of love languages and I just don't feel like we 'need' them in order to celebrate Christmas. Obviously once we have a child, this will change, but I want to keep the gifts from getting out of hand!

- outside decorations. This kind of bums me out as my parents had such beautiful outdoor lights on our house when I was growing up and they continue to put lights up at the cabin. But we don't have a tall enough ladder to put lights on our roofline and Phil has zero interest in putting up lights. In the future I would like to get a festive wreath for our door but that just didn't happen this year.

- giving toys to my Godson. Instead I only give books and money for his college account. I know this does not make me the most fun and exciting aunt, but now that my nephew is old enough (13) to understand what he's seeing when I give him a statement for his savings account each Christmas and birthday, I'm gaining popularity! I just feel like kids get soooo many toys. I also use this same approach for all of my nieces and nephews birthdays. After all, I am the aunt that works in financial services so this isn't too surprising. And my siblings have told me that they really appreciate the fact that I don't add to the toy clutter in their homes!

What do you say yes and no to during the holiday season?  For those who celebrate Christmas, I wish you and yours a very merry Christmas! 


Nora said...

I am one of those sentimental (hoarder?) people and I save all Christmas cards I'm sent. It's fun to look at the ones I've received through the years. I also save wedding invites and baby shower invites, too (well, unless the couple gets divorced and then I toss it as that seems like bad luck somehow).

I'm a sucker for Christmas so there isn't a lot I say no to, honestly. Cards, lights, presents, you name it, I likely do it.

Stevie said...

I absolutely love Christmas so I'll say yes to pretty much everything, but totally with you on the gifts. On my side, which isn't very big, we draw names so we each only give one gift to one person. But my husband LOVES giving gifts and I have to reel him in every year before it gets out of hand.

We also do a fake tree. As much as I love going out to a tree farm to pick my own tree, it's expensive and it's MESSY. We have a beautiful fake tree and I buy fir-scented candles to get the Christmas tree fragrance :-)

Stephany said...

How fun is this post?! I need to remember it in the future. :)

I say yes to presents (we love giving presents in my family and my brother and I still give my mom a Christmas list!), artificial trees, lots of Christmas decorations, and making Christmas cookies.

I say no to Christmas cards (it feels weird to send one as a single person and the expense kills me) and Christmas parties (when I can get out of them, haha).

Gracie said...

We have a bunch of godkids, so we're the boring godparents, too - everyone gets money in their college account! Except this year I couldn't resist getting some of them Kindles. The three siblings of our close friends - two are our godchilden, one is like an honorary godchild! - all love reading, and ran out of books on their recent visit to us. I let them read my kindle after checking books out of the library onto it, and they were so excited that I thought that would be a good gift. They travel so much that they'll get a lot of use out of them. But usually, it's just boring college fund money!

nomdeplume said...

So glad you wrote about your godson’s gift. We decided this year that we’re tired of giving “stuff” to our nieces and nephew. They have so much of it and most of it gets donated until the next round of toys for Christmas and birthday. So we decided this year that we’re just going to open a college savings account for each of them. I want to give them experiences, not things.

Jeanie said...

Well, you know I'm a sucker for Christmas and there's not much I don't say no to! Yes to cards, gifts, decorating (not as much outside), family, friends... whatever works!

Wishing you the very merriest of Christmases. I know that no matter how you spend your time you will be celebrating in joy.

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

We say no to a real tree (just don't care about a real tree, and am used to a fake one).

We say yes to giving gifts to each other, but we do very little shopping/ buying throughout the year, and most of the gifts we buy each other are consumable.

Marlys said...

I save all of my Chrismtas pictures and put them in albums. It is fun to look back and see how families have grown! I just can't throw away pictures! Which reminds me, I haven't put last years pictures in the album, just stuffed in there, so I will have two years to do this winter. Then I can compare the pictures as I do that, which will be fun! I guess you could call me "corny"?
I love all things Christmas, but have had an artificial tree for years because a real tree is just so much work! I miss the smell of one, though!

Charbelle said...

I always love your cards! I did cards for the first time ever this year and I thought 50 would be plenty, nope! We have big families and half of the cards went to our family. Vistaprint had great options and I was thrilled with how the cards turned out! We do exchange gifts with my family and we purchased gifts for my niece and nephew on Michael's side but we did not do gifts for the adults. I appreciated the practical gifts Charlotte got from my family. Brian and Jenny got her a sleeping bag and one of those funky pillows that has sequins that changes from one color to another. She also received a binder for art supplies, a book and an electric toothbrush. From Michael's side she received gift cards since she got the Nintendo Switch for Christmas. She agreed to trade in her Nintendo (whatever it was that she had) so she contributed towards the Christmas gift and then we purchased the necessary stuff to go with it. I'm thankful that my parents have become flexible! We went to their house for Christmas Eve and then Christmas morning they came up for breakfast on their way to Brian and Jenny's. We then went to Michael's side for lunch at his Dad and Stepmoms and then to his Mom's after that. I think this will probably change each year but that worked for this year.

Amber said...

Our nephew is 13 and he just got his first bank account this year so we gave him money for Christmas. He was SO excited to have some extra money to add to his savings account!! We don't always send holiday cards but this year we did and I only ordered 40 and it was NOT enough! Probably could have had closer to 60. Oh well, good to know as we will probably send holiday cards every year now that we have Olivia. I don't really enjoy getting just generic holiday cards honestly, I like to get PHOTO cards of my friends and family. But generic cards that say "Merry Christmas" and nothing else usually end up getting recycled!

San said...

Ugh, I know, Christmas cards can be expensive (esp. with the added postage, for me also quite a few international letters!), but I just love it so much. I usually wait to see which print service offers the cheapest option or a good "coupon code" to use.
May I ask what you paid for the photo cards this year? We ordered the paper cards this year and we sent out 100 as well and I thought $85 was reasonable (<$1/card).

We have pretty much stopped giving gifts as a couple as well. We might buy tickets to a show/concert or some other "experience" that we enjoy together, but we usually don't pick up anything "tangible" anymore (UNLESS there is something that we need at the time and then just turn it into a "Christmas gift", although we'd have bought it anyway LOL

Linda said...

It was Sugarface's niece's first Christmas and I already decided I'm only getting her books. Haha. Maybe ever! I got her A is for Activist.