It starts early, doesn’t it dear momma. The feelings of guilt and the pang in your chest of “if only.” You see your friends and what they are doing for their children for Christmas. You see the catalogs – oh, the catalogs! You try to stop your kids from flipping through the pages because you know they’ll ask, “Mom, can I have this for Christmas?” You know, deep down in your heart of hearts that the true meaning of Christmas isn’t about what is under the tree, but you still want more than anything to be the mom can that can give your children the world.
Momma, I see you. I am you. The mom on a budget. The mom that makes an intentional decision for Christmas to be small. And, it’s hard. IT IS HARD! Every single second of the holiday season is hard.
My husband and I are sometimes at odds during this season. His love language is all the gifts. It’s what he loves to do. My love language is service. I don’t want all the gifts. And, overriding it all is the dreaded ‘b’ word – BUDGET. Yep, we have a tight, specific, intentional budget and it doesn’t always line up with what the world thinks we should spend on Christmas. So, I get it, momma. Here are some ways I combat those guilty Christmas present blues.
- A bigger Christmas does not automatically mean a better Christmas. Do not believe this lie. Both can be meaningful and wonderful.
- Everything in life is a choice. We talk to our kids a lot about choices, Christmas is no different. We have a certain budget we spend and we make sure to stick to the budget so that we can be good stewards of the gifts and resources we have.
- Teaching our children that they don’t get everything is okay. It’s okay.
- You may not be in the same season year to year. Learn to be content with the season you are in.
- Buying secondhand does not mean you love your kids less. Every year we give our kids gifts that are used. You guys, we have saved so much money and stuck to the budget. Our kids love their gifts just as much.
- Going into debt for stuff will not make you happy. I’ve done it. You’ll just be stressed. Trust me.
- Your attitude about the season will make the season. Choose joy.
It’s taken me a long time to get the point where I can look at my budget with contentment rather than angst. And, I’m not always awesome at it. Sometimes I find myself in the complainer mindest wishing for more. But hear this, momma: a million dollars won’t make this season more magical for you and your children. Only you can do that. Choose a season of joy and thankfulness. It’s always a choice.
Momma in the budget trenches, I feel you. Take a deep breath. Close those black Friday ads, the Toys R Us catalog and that American Girl magazine that came in the mail today. Don’t let those things write a message on your heart that isn’t true. You are enough. You are worthwhile. You are loved. You are amazing. And big budget or small budget, Christmas can be magical and perfect for your family just as it is.