I deal in hope : Carolyn R Scheidies

Blog Bio Holidays, finances, and time to reassess

We’ve just passed a season of celebrations. We roll right from Halloween to Thanksgiving to Christmas and on to New Year’s Eve. There are parties, decorations to go up, and presents to purchase. December’s budget becomes a horror film all on its own if we do not plan and use restraint on giving as well as travel, even food and lodging costs. By the time the season is over, and the New Year has begun, we can be rung out both physically and emotionally. And for what–so our kids, and/or grandkids can play with the boxes the expensive toys came in? What was the point?

Did we have time to actually talk to family members? Really enjoy our get-togethers? Who wants to look at the expenses we incurred when we open January’s mail? Yikes! Just whom did we think we were impressing? Maybe it is time to reassess priorities.

Holidays are wonderful and have such meaning. It is good to get together as families, to not only eat and fellowship, but also to consider our many blessings and give thanks. When we remember to give thanks, Thanksgiving lifts up instead of drains us.

As for next Christmas, do we have to participate in everything? In traveling, we can set boundaries considering what is best for the health and well-being of our family. Decide to stay home? Use Zoom to reach out to family and friends. As for presents, look at your budget. What can you truly afford? Nothing wrong with shopping discounts and dollar stores. Think about the likes and dislikes of those receiving the gifts. A well-thought-out gift, that doesn’t break the budget, is much better than some expensive do-dad the giver doesn’t even want.

Sometimes it takes more courage to say “No” than yes. As for Christmas, if you’re too busy to celebrate the true meaning of the season, you’ll miss the joy altogether. True joy is in celebrating Jesus who came to earth to bring new life, hope…and joy.

When Keith’s folks were alive and after the Scheidies family got much larger with spouses, kids, grandkids and great-grandkids scheduling was a nightmare. Keith’s mom made it much more simple. She designated the weekend after Thanksgiving as our time of celebration. This became our “Thankmas,” During that weekend we celebrated Thanksgiving,, Christmas, birthdays around that time, and any other special events in our lives. The pressure of trying to juggle different family celebrations became instead a joy of simply spending time together. You can use creativity in your celebrations.

Most of all remember celebrations aren’t about money, gifts or showing off. It is connecting with those we love. A good New Year’s resolution is to commit to going into the next holiday season with a plan, with a budget, and with a way to maximize our fellowship with one another.

A belated–Happy New Year!

© 2023 Carolyn R Scheidies
Column published Kearney Hub 1/10/23
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