Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Tuesday, Christmas guilt.

     Christmas was grand.  I am very tired, but today I am taking it easy.  Yesterday the kids left, it was quite last night and we ate left over oyster stew.  You know fish and company really do stink after three days.  I had so much Christmas guilt.  I cut back in so many ways this Christmas and was just ready for a load of crap from my family that never came!  I was just so tired and busy and behind and I thought screw it!  I don't care.  I hate not caring.  Here are the ways I am cut back and next year I will cut back even more.

     I did not make pj.s for everyone.  Yes, for years we all had matching night clothes even Grandma  and Grandpa.  Great family pictures but too much work.  This year I did not even buy everyone pj.'s.  The two youngest do not ever wear them except Christmas night.  They put on sweats and a t-shirt.  So why waste the money? I did buy a really cute pair of elf pj.'s for grandson.  $2.37 at Macy's. 

     I did not buy any expensive electronics, or outdoor gear.  Youngest daughter wanted her I-pod replaced and I was so tempted.  I looked at then several times.  But $400.00 for something she lost in a foolish way.  I just knew she was going to blow a gasket but she didn't.  So see you do not have to get everything on their list and you can set and enforce limits.  (I did not know that)

     I seriously cut back on Christmas Eve dinner.  We still had too much food and we will throw some out to the chickens.

     I did not fret over stocking stuffers.  Which by the way can add up fast!  I usually have so much stuff to put in the stockings, I cannot fit it all in.  This year I could  fit everything in and no body knew the difference.  The cute little soaps and crip/crap I spent money on, I  would throw away later when I finally got tired of seeing it in junk drawers.  I bought candy, a new toothbrush, hairbrush,ponytail holders,bobby pins, flashlights(with batteries) hand sanitizers to hook to key chains.  They all use these things.  I did not buy, socks, underwear,soap,chap stick, notepads,lotions etc.
No one complained.

      I did not buy movies or games.  We have enough, they have enough.  They all have Netflix, we don't and we can go to the $1 movie.  If I want it that badly I will buy it.

     I did not buy a Santa present for anyone but the baby.  This is usually the most expensive part of Christmas.  But they are 19, 24 and 31 do I need to be Santa? NO! No one complained.

     These are just the ways I can think of that I cut back but next year I will do more.  It is just time.  They are all adults and I want to get out of debt more than anything.  If I wasn't so in debt I would not have to work so hard.  They can understand that.

     So in a nutshell:

1. No p.j.s
2. No outrageous expensive gifts
3. Less gourmet foods, seafood, we still had too much!
4. No outlandish stocking stuffers
5. No, movie and game for each person
6. No Santa presents

     Now if you just read this with out explanation I sound like scrooge, but everyone opened at least 10 or more gifts.  That is enough.  I think sometimes the kids were just over whelmed and they get to be ungrateful.

Next year, I am going to cut back on cookies and only make 1/2 batches as most of my recipes are old  Swedish and make at least 10 dozen.  I made my favorite 13, but next year no double batches and I am going to make 3 kinds of candy and Swedish cookies.  I will leave the non-traditional to everyone else.  Just too much.  I will buy less seafood.  We could have gotten buy with 4 crabs, and 2 lbs of shrimp, 2 cans of oysters, 3 boxes of crackers.  My dream is to have Christmas at my daughters and just help her and contribute money.

     I also have the new artificial Tree for next year yippee!

Did any of you cut back?  If you did, in what way?

Have a great and productive day!



  1. I am so proud of you Kim! And so happy for you. We "think" everyone expects and needs so much to be happy but it's in our heads for the most part. We are our own worst enemy. I'm so glad your family was happy with what you felt comfortable doing.

    You are making great progress in making life simpler and getting rid of the debt! Bravo Zulu!

  2. Kim,
    I hear ya! My kids are 14, 16, 22 and 25 plus a son-in-law! It's time to stop the madness...or at least the "Santa" gifts! We haven't yet, but oh how nice it sounds to go to someone else's house and just "help".

    I cut WAY back too, and spent a lot less. We never put outside lights up, stocking stuffers were freebies that I got throughout the year, and I supplemented Christmas Eve with a lot of pasta. (definitely less expensive). I did send my daughter out to pick some drinks up...she "treated".

    We used to do the pajama thing too...not anymore. I'm not as talented as you so I purchased them. It was too expensive!

    I'm so glad you had a nice Christmas...it's really all about family anyway. The gifts get quickly forgotten!

  3. Yup, sure did! I usually bake way too much - it's just a habit. This year I got my daughter to do the baking and only the things we needed to take to share at other events. So there is NO leftover baking to put the extra pounds onto me.
    I bought a turkey about half the usual size - it was a utility turkey and only cost about $8.00 instead of usually $25 - $30. Even though it was missing half of one wing it was delicious!
    I bought fewer gifts. And no one noticed or complained, and what I bought was practical and consumable - nothing will be collecting dust over the next year.
    I only bought a couple of bottles of wine, no big bottles of alcohol...so...no hangovers!
    No travelling this year = no extra $$ spent on gas.
    NO money spent on new ornaments or decorations or lights - just used what we had.
    I'm happy with the results - Christmas was just great.

  4. We cut back alot of things this year. I told the kids to only ask for what they really needed. I did not buy any "filler" gifts like I normally would to make it look like more. We got them things they needed.

    I cut back to only the Christmas decorations that we love or that mean something to us. We also cut back alot on Christmas dinner and made it much more comfortable.

    Most people I know cut things this year. Now to continue this through the year!

  5. no need to feel guilty kim! you did what worked and what helps you meet your debt reduction goals.

    We cut back a few years ago, my kids are in their 20's, they just get one present from us, thats plenty. DH & I give each other a present and then we buy something for DH's parents. Simplifying it has made the day is easier as kids grow up. We had a fantastic day.

  6. I cut back on the gifts, but not the food. I still have leftover ham. But I like ham sandwiches, and I can freeze it for later. I still have some pie left, but not a lot. As for decorations, not even close, but then again, that is the BF's area. He got some new stuff (replacing some old) but still overspent on the decorations. Don't even want to see what the electric bill is going to be like.

  7. I think you did great!
    Cutting back is not the death knell for Christmas. It sounds like you still did a lot of celebrating.
    This was our 1st Xmas with no Santa presents too. Youngest is almost 16 so I KNOW he doesn't believe in the guy in the sleigh...it's more like the mom in the minivan that provides his goodies!lol

    I only did 1 batch of 1 kind of cookie and 4 pies. Dinner was substantially cut down in volume as well.
    Simplifying the Holidays sounds good to me!

  8. Good for you! You have been SO busy all year that I hope you can kick back and relax a little in the coming year! About the time we got serious about paying off debt we really cut back on who we gave Christmas gifts to--it used to be our siblings and their kids but now their kids have kids and the number of presents needed was growing exponentially so we put a stop to that and now take family out for a nice dinner when we meet up, usually once a year.

  9. This year was much less than previous years at our house too! I didn't do "filler gifts" this year either. Nobody complained or even noticed. The meal was cut back and I wasn't able to do any baking. I put in pies that I had froze this summer. No complaints. We are our own worst critic! It was simple and wonderful.