There is nothing that I love more than giving gifts. I love the thought process behind coming up with clever gifts for specific people. I love the search for that special gift that will make their eyes twinkle as they open it. I dream of being able to afford to send my mom and stepdad on a cruise or some sort of vacation they deserve.
Every year since I started working, I spend all the money I have, plus more, on gifts for my friends and family. I spare nothing. It is my favorite time of year. Let me correct myself. Gearing up for Thanksgiving and Christmas is my favorite time of year. I enjoy, but don’t necessarily love, the actual days themselves because they are stressful and tiring. But I absolutely, 100%, LOVE getting ready for them. Coming up with great ideas for gifts, buying the gifts, the pure joy in giving the gifts, it’s just such a wonderful feeling.
But this year I feel a little different. While I have been learning how to budget for many years now, every single year I completely BLOW my budget during the holidays. As I get closer to 30 I am learning better and better how to stick to my budget. Which means this year, I figured out how much I could spend on gifts and I am trying so very hard to stick to it. As “good” as it may be that I am sticking to my budget and even adjusting as necessary, it makes me feel deflated, lowly, sad…
You may be thinking, this is the happiest time of the year, what is wrong with you?! Yes, I agree. But I am feeling a little down because I don’t have the money I would need to buy what I want to buy for all my friends and family. I worry they won’t like the gift I get them. I don’t have as much flexibility in getting a creative, fun gift that I would normally buy for them. I worry that they won’t understand that I really wanted to get them something extravagant and amazing. It pains me that no one quite understands how much it hurts my heart not to be able to spend absurd amounts of money on gifts for the people I love the most. Because I would if I could. I know, I know, it’s not the cost of the gift that matters, it is the thought that counts. I totally get that. I do, I promise. But when I think of a creative, clever gift for someone, it usually is not very cheap.
You might be asking yourself, if you want to so bad then why don’t you? I am trying my darndest to be more responsible and not go into debt any more than I already am. Although, I have gone into debt in years past in order to buy everything I want for my family and friends, if I continue to do so, I will be unable to accomplish my goal of getting out of debt. Not to mention the crazy number of birthdays in the month of December alone…
There is a phrase that always sticks with me – “Live a few years of your life like most people won’t, so that you can live the rest of your life like most people can’t.” For me, this means living within my means, sticking to my budget, and doing my best to get into the holiday spirit. I need to take this phrase seriously and understand that it is the act of giving the gift that should be important, not how much I spend or getting exactly what my nieces and nephew want.
While my heart will still remain somewhat heavy, I hope that all my friends and family understand that I love them so very much. I am doing what I can afford and sticking to my guns on accomplishing my goal of paying off my debt.
Happy holidays to all, my love for you is more than my pocketbook will ever be able to afford. ❤