My 5 Gift Rule & How to Save for It

Only 354 days until Christmas 2017 – woohoo and the countdown begins! I know, groan-ugh-booo! If you’re like me though, you are a planHER, meaning you need everything laid out and ready to go…even if it’s almost a year away.

Christmas 2016 was spent being bummed I couldn’t get all the things for my kids that I/they/we wanted, but then realizing it’s not about “all the things.” 20ish years old and I’m barely figuring that out – so sue me! Christmas 2017 I want experiences! I want memories that last more than the “let’s rip the paper off and beg dad to put this together only to be mad at Santa because he forgot the batteries” type of moments.

What do I hope to change this time around – I mean it is the month of change? Well, how about instilling the popular idea of limiting gifts to specific “categories” per say. Just by searching “gift rule” we get plenty of ideas. I know, there’s no memories in “these things” but bear with me. I adjusted my “rules” to be more specific for what I want for my kids. untitledThis includes something they want, something they need, a Christmas outfit to wear (every Christmas Eve we go to family so they will get this gift early), something to help them learn (a book, a puzzle etc), and something that they can make (creativity is key) and possibly give to others once they’re finished.

Now, onto the memories idea. We usually buy for my parents, his parents, each other, a secret Santa party, and the kids of course. Kids aside, I like the idea of giving an experience. My favorite gift we gave this year was to his cousin which was an “Actor Survival Kit” that included a gift certificate for wine and chocolate tasting from where she lives. Why not do this for everyone? Or better yet, why not take everyone out so we can enjoy some time away TOGETHER! Such a concept. Movies and dinner – I don’t think we’ve ever done this with everyone together (someone write me a reminder note!).

Whatever we do, I want it to be within our budget as well. This year we scraped the last few paychecks of the year to quickly buy some things and we even had to take advantage of good ol’ Mr. Credit. Why though?! Because we didn’t plan ahead and we weren’t strong enough to stick to the plan. This year, I plan on doing a monthly savings challenge and stashing that money into a Christmas Club Account. That way I can’t be tempted to touch it, and it’ll be available just in time for those Black Friday sales.

Join me today and starting planning for #Christmas2017; tell me, what are you going to change?