The following post is by staff writer, Sally. Sally is the blogger behind TinyApartmentDesign.com, a blog about interior design, money, real estate, good reads and general life thoughts. Enjoy!
When the excitement of Christmas Eve and Christmas day are over, I get out of the holiday mode pretty fast and start looking forward to the new year, with the days getting longer and warmer and heading into my favorite season: sweet, sweet summer.
Christmas was never huge in our family, although we did celebrate it. But, in my fiance’s family, Christmas is a Really Big Deal (RBD for short). It’s an RBD for everyone to get together and enjoy baking and cooking together, and share plenty of gifts with each other.
I have to admit that every Christmas is hard for me. I always feel short on cash and can’t get gifts I really want to get for people who are wonderful and giving to us all year long.
So this year, even as I put our lovely Christmas memories away until next year, I am going to be thinking about Christmas for the next 11 months with a Christmas Club.
What is a Christmas Club?
A Christmas Club (or Hanukkah or any other holiday) is the simplest way to put away money for the holidays.
While you can do it electronically, the best way to put aside this money is using cash.
Why? Because this fund is totally different from your other savings goals, and even if you don’t spend the whole amount next Christmas, you can set aside that cash to get a head start on the next year’s Christmas Club. The best part is that when you start in January, you hardly have to save any money at all. I know that $800 is more than enough for me to get gifts for both of our immediate families, something special for my fiancé and still have some money left over a fun tradition like going to see the Nutcracker ballet. That’s only $73 a month for the next 11 months. By saving for 11 months, you’ll have your complete Christmas Club fund by December 1 and can start early on your holiday shopping, although some people might consider that a late start.
But Spending Money on Christmas Gifts is Stupid!
OK, I hear you.
You don’t have to get gifts at all or do anything special for the holidays and you can save that $800. That’s true. In the same reasoning, weddings are stupid, showers are stupid and celebrating birthdays and anniversaries is as asinine as it gets.
I’ve got some very anti-tradition people in my family who think all celebrations are for mindless sheeple and we should just enjoy and celebrate every day of our lives. I appreciate that view. It’s helped me become the person that I am and I am not afraid to question traditions or rituals or the way things are simply because “it’s always been that way”.
But, I don’t hate traditions. I like that Christmas is an RBD in our lives. It’s not always going to be 100% perfect or super-happy-fun all the time, but we’re going to try, darn it! And from an anthropological perspective, these traditions and rituals reinforce our social circles, remind us of the people we value in our lives, including children, family and friends.
So, while it’s important to be an independent thinker and be able to assess the value of traditions and assumptions, it’s equally important to enjoy your life. And if giving gifts at Christmas is part of that, join the Christmas Club now to make it easier on your mind and wallet.
How about you all? Have you ever tried setting aside money periodically throughout the year to use for buying Christmas/holiday presents?
Share your experiences by commenting below!
***Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net