It’s that time of year ya’ll! Time to deck the halls, sip on some egg nog (or chug it…I’m not here to judge), sing carols, walk in winter wonderlands, watch out and not pout, and have a dag on holly jolly Christmas! Here in the Alicea casa we are doing things a little different this year. For starters, my typical Griswaldesque style of decorating will have to wait for a few years. We have a very adventurous and curious 1.5 year old so our tree is half decked due to the constant redecoration of the lower half. Luckily, when you are sitting on the couch, all you can see is the top half. I thought of not putting a tree up this year, but my heart and soul longs for those twinkling lights every December and I couldn’t deprive myself.
We have also decided that we will not be doing many gifts this year and the ones we do give will be hand made by me (or Trader Joe’s, I’m not a miracle worker, people!). Of the few gifts we are getting Isaac we will be buying them used from consignment/thrift and not purchasing anything new. Tony and I are still debating on whether or not we are going to get each other something this year. We aren’t against gift giving, we love to give! However, we are on a very tight budget and live in a small condo that is already maxed out on space and storage. Our goal is to make the best with what we have, give away the things we don’t want or need, keep the clutter at bay, and be okay with the fact that there are some years (or many years) that we aren’t going to have the means to give gifts, but we will always have the means to give love and time.
On that same note, we also decided not to spend money on family photos that we would use to send as a Christmas card. Family photos are amazing and I love seeing all of yours, but once again we really needed to be realistic about our budget and the cost we would have to pay for the photos and cards, not to mention stamps. Plus, getting Isaac to sit still or smile on cue would be virtually impossible.
In order to get to the place where I am happy with our decision, I had to let the comparisons and expectations go. It’s the second year in a row we haven’t been able to spend money at Christmas time, but honestly, that’s really ok. We have everything we need throughout the year, plus some. Isaac has more than enough and we continue to get better and better with our budget, and that is something to be proud of. Getting out of debt and staying there is the best gift we could give ourselves. It is truly the gift of peace. We are learning that the Holiday season can bring more stress and worry than peace and joy if you allow comparison and expectation to take over, so we aren’t letting that junk steal our joy.
If you are working with a tight budget or if you just feel that you would prefer not to give gifts, I want to encourage you that your love and time is gift enough.
As a gift to you all for being such wonderful friends, family, and readers, I want to share with you some pictures of our little family that wouldn’t look too great on a fancy Christmas card, but I will always look at and remember what special moments they were.
I hope you all enjoyed our family photos! We enjoyed making the memories! From our family to yours, may God bless you abundantly, may peace and joy abound in your hearts and lives, and may you grow ever deeper in love with the One who created you.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
The Alicea Family