Monday, November 26, 2012

A Better Philosophy For Holiday Shopping

I wish I had read Libby Balke's of Bargain Babe Christmas shopping post earlier this year. 

It's too late for me to stick to only three gifts but I definitely think it will be something I do next year. 

This is her variation of the Three Gift Rule:

  1. An educational gift
  2. An “experiential” gift
  3. A “want” gift (this is the wild card, to make sure someone’s top “must have” doesn’t fall through the cracks)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Giving a Little Thanks and Also, Bookshelves

We had a blessed Thanksgiving here in chilly St. Louis.  My brothers came up for the day and we had a really good visit and lots of food.  I think it was my best Thanksgiving in a long time.  I was sad when they left us.

I've been shopping for Christmas since October and I'm about done.  I just have to buy one or two more things for my brothers.  They are so hard to shop for that I'm always shopping for them last.  Any ideas on what to buy two bachelors who have everything they want already?

Hubby and I finally bought bookshelves for our new home so I can unbox my cookbooks and literature.  Right now he is assembling the shelving we bought at Target and it is making my day.  My best deal was a little wire baker's rack that just fits in our kitchen.  We tried a new thrift store in our new town during their Black Friday half off sale so I got it for $10.00.  My beloved cookbooks now have a home and I have a few less boxes on our floor!!!  Also, he bought a new camera for us for $60 to replace our old broken one.  Perhaps that will mean this blog may have pictures again soon.

I've got pizza dough in the bread machine for our pizza dinner.  It's a lazy day at home with the family.  I'll be ready for the kids to go back to school tomorrow but for now, I'm so blessed with this crazy goodness.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

RePost From November 2010: I'm Thankful For Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving doesn't get the recognition it deserves. It's a quiet holiday. There are no sparkly tinsel trappings. The fanciest thing you might get is pretty whipped cream swirls on top of your pumpkin pie or seeing the Rockettes on tv during the Macy's parade. It's a humble holiday that lets me spend a quiet day with my family, eating good food, and remembering to count my abundant blessings.

But, we tend to gloss right over it as though after Halloween the only holiday is Christmas. And it's a material filled marketers Christmas- not the holy, simple, yule logged Christmas of yore. Even Black Friday seems sexier than Thanksgiving.

Lately, I've been preferring Thanksgiving. I'm looking forward to a whole day spent with my family when our days are filled up and our weekends are crazy busy with soccer and birthday parties. Christmas, as much as I love it, has become a season of stress and chores. I'm tired already for trying to decide what gifts to give people who have everything (and might turn up their nose at the wrong gift). I have some issues to work out with Christmas. But, Thanksgiving- it's all good with Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

It's a Journey, Not a Destination

I feel like I've forgotten my frugality lately.   I'm not much of an example for those who are new to saving money.

My husband is making decent money now.  My Mom left me with some inheritance that will help us pay off our mortgage.  Money just isn't that much of an issue lately because we've become lazy and comfortable.  I've bought more stuff online in the past year than I ever have before.  I think it's because of my deep sadness over my Mom's death and also to enjoy spending freely in a manner that I never have been able to before.  Those boxes of goodies that show up on my porch give me about five minutes of real happiness.   And then it fades.  It doesn't matter that I used coupon codes and got money back.  The happiness is temporary.  The stuff is just stuff.  And the money is used up. 

 My goal is to have a paid off mortgage, money saved for the kid's college fund, and a tidy pile saved for retirement.  We haven't accomplished that yet.   I need to remember that. 

I don't need new stuff to make me happy.  Today I am wearing a sweater that I bought at a New Orleans thrift store in 2001.   It makes me happy in a way that a new sweater can't.  This morning I ate a slice of scratch pumpkin pie made from last year's jack o' lanterns.  It was way better than any store bought pie. 

Frugality may not be as fun or as easy as spending money on new stuff.  But, it is way more satisfying.