My Holiday Mind Shift

December 23, 2014 - Christen
Last year, I wrote an article detailing my plan to spend less on holiday shopping. As Christmas approaches this year, I’m already thinking ahead to next year and what I can exchange so I can achieve my financial goals. While many people will fill countless hours browsing and buying gifts, and later exchanging them, I am exchanging my mindset.
I’m challenging myself (and you) to cut back on spending for holiday gifts next year. I plan to infuse a little more of the old-fashioned holiday spirit into my and my family’s lives by focusing more on what the holidays mean to me: spending time with my loved ones or giving thoughtful gifts.
Last year, I developed a three-part list to determine who on my list would get which type of present — giving small presents to family, some to service providers, and some to friends and acquaintances. This was a nice (and expensive) gesture, and I’ve realized that it no longer meshes with my long-term financial goals.
Below are some of the gift-giving changes I plan to make for next year’s holiday season:
A handwritten card. To me, there is no gift money can buy that says “I appreciate you” like a hand-written card or note. I plan to give holiday cards to family members and special people who help make my life easier. Passing on the practice, I’ll have my children make cards to give to their child-care providers. 
Donations in the name of family. I have a shortlist ofcharities that I enjoy supporting throughmonetary donations, and I think that making a donation in the name of a family member who also has a fondness for that charity will be a wonderful way to show appreciation for them and the causes that matter to them.
Developing new holiday traditions. While my children are still small, now is a great time to start new family traditions, which will not include spending endless hours shopping for presents or making endless lists of “wants.”
I’m not saying that I won’t ever buy another Christmas present, but I am exchanging a mindset of spending money to commemorate the holidays to one more focused on spending quality time with loved ones.
What changes are you making this holiday season while keeping your loved ones and financial circumstances in mind? AC: 1214-7551

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