A Fool of Myself

A Different Kind of Christmas

Decorated Christmas cookies with icing.
Now that Thanksgiving is over, we have officially entered the Christmas season. I am in the camp of “Give Thanksgiving a Chance,” and I’m not a fan of executing anything Christmas-related until after Turkey Day. Still, Chris had the week off from work, and he and E needed a project, so I gave my blessing for putting up Christmas decorations this week.

We are excited about this Christmas. If you’ve been reading the blog for the last few weeks, you know that since July, we’ve made some significant changes and hard decisions with regard to our personal finances. One such decision was to abstain from giving Christmas gifts this year. Yes, you read that right — we’re not giving presents this year.

For starters, we simply do not have the cash to spend on gifts for our friends and family. Rather, we had some cash, but we decided to spend it on our estate plan in October instead. I like to joke that we’re going to photocopy all of our important documents, slap a bow on them, and give our family peace of mind for Christmas.

Rather than giving gifts, we’ll be focusing on the advent season with time for reflection as a family and time for celebration with friends. We want this Christmas to be about Jesus. We’ll be following an advent reading plan that uses the Jesus Storybook Bible for E’s bedtime stories, and Chris and I will be reading through Good News of Great Joy published by John Piper’s Desiring God Ministry. As for celebrating, there will be hot chocolate, Christmas movies, puzzles, cookie making, Christmas light viewing, and more!

Don’t get me wrong, we will miss giving gifts to our family and friends this year, but we know this is the right decision for our family, even if we’re being unconventional. And gifts are not off the table forever, just until we have our financial house in order and can budget for gifts throughout the year rather than scrambling in December.

What are your plans for Christmas gift giving? Share them in the comments!