It’s the MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR.
To be honest, it’s also the MOST EXPENSIVE TIME OF THE YEAR.
It starts off small, we spoil our little ones at their first Christmas with fun gifts, and as they get older, the gifts become more high ticket items and of course, if you have more than one child, then multiply that.
Then we see people on social media rocking matching PJ’s, photo shoots for Christmas cards, wait do we need to go to a Christmas Tree Farm now? Oh and Breakfast with Santa when I was a kid was at the local rec centre… now Santa helicopters in to some very special brunches around town… at a cost of $30 a head.
Then there’s clothes for the Christmas concert, teacher gifts, education assistant gifts, piano teacher gifts, coach gifts, pot lucks (I can’t cook so it’s another cost for me 🙂 ), get-togethers with friends, Secret Santa at the office, drinks out with friends, taxis for all these drinking events, and the list goes on and on.
So how do we keep the costs down?
A lot of those with large families will do a Secret Santa or names in a hat… so it’s just one gift instead of plenty. It can also help you get to know some people in your famjam for sure! Many people say they shop all year round so that they’re done in November… the cost is spread out. Others say they try to do potlucks instead of going out for drinks, etc or have a creative way to save money all year whether you save grocery points or your bottle returns.
As for the emotional cost… After a few chaotic crazy seasons where we’re just killing ourselves to “make magic”, I try not to say “YES” to everything. It’s okay to say no… you can’t always do everything and stay sane. Let someone else do the gifting for your child’s teacher (maybe write out a lovely card for them). Send store-bought treats to the parties. Hire a housecleaner before the family comes over (or even better, after). Make sure you have a few precious traditions that you can keep up every year without going crazy.
Good luck and Feliz Navidad!