Saturday, December 8, 2012

Holiday Stress

After staying late to work on a project at the office, my husband and I decided to meet for a late dinner at a local restaurant. We ordered a half carafe of lambrusco and were finally able to talk after our long day apart. It was a really nice date night. If you've been keeping track, this is the 11th date night as part of my 25 by 25 list.

I ordered the chicken picatta with lemon caper sauce and my husband got a stromboli. We took an order of deep fried cheesecake home with us to share.

Today, we plan to get the rest of our Christmas shopping done. With a list of 30 people to buy for, being nearly done shopping is an accomplishment. If you do the math, we easily spend over $1,000 on Christmas gifts. We didn't save for Christmas this year so we are charging it all and hope to get it paid off soon. It may seem excessive for a young married couple with no children to spend so much on Christmas, but we have four sides of family to buy for and five places to go between Christmas eve and Christmas day.

While Christmas shopping can be fun, it can be stressful too. I often find myself with that little voice in the back of my head saying, "this gift isn't good enough" or "I wish I could afford more". That's not what this holiday is about. It's about being together and celebrating Christ's birth. It is easy to get stressed this time of year, but it's important to not lose sight of why we are celebrating and giving gifts to begin with.

Does anyone else get stressed this time of year? How do you cope with holiday stress?
- I was once so stressed during the holidays that I didn't enjoy it at all. I actually was in tears. I was filled with feelings of not giving good enough gifts because of the lack of funds we had at the time. Ever since that Christmas, I vowed to never let stress ruin the holidays for me again. I strive to focus on the great things that this holiday brings; family, friends, togetherness and love.


  1. One year I used my credit card for every purchase and prayed "one more purchase! one more purchase!". I found out later that they just upped my limit every time I reached the limit. Here I thought I didn't spend much.

    My parents are split so I know about buying for a million people plus my husbands side. Finally we told everyone NO more gifts at Christmas. Surprisingly they where all okay with it. Now we just buy for each other, and if we want to buy gifts for who ever we're visiting Christmas day, then we will. IF we want. :) We learned that Christmas isn't about getting OR giving. ;D (It's more like, how to stay sane...)

  2. I like the Secret Santa approach and if you can do that with each side of the family you visit it would really cut down on the amount of spending for everyone, not just for you! Im sure others in your family feel the same way as well. Maybe you should mention that next year you can only bring one gift to each event you go to and that you want them to participate in the Secret Santa. Then if you CHOOSE to purchase gifts to have under YOUR tree and have your parent or husbands parent over sometime before or after the holiday then you can give them a seperate present but Im sure that isnt even necessary!
    Also, if you want to do something special for your parents and dont receive their name for secret santa think of something meaningful that doesnt cost much money, like have them over for dinner, go to their house and perform a chore, take them to a movie or something along those lines that would give you extra time with them in lieu of a gift... I think that would be much more appreciated and thoughtful than showing up with tons of presents and putting you and your husband further into debt to try to keep up with your ever growing family!
    Another thought that just popped into my head was if you have younger family members at your parents houses you could simply buy a FAMILY gift (like a movie, game, gift card for pizza) that the entire family gets to share instead of buying individual even if your families dont WANT to do the secret santa idea, you could still show up with ONE gift next year and call it a FAMILY GIFT... that might save you money as well.
    Like you said... This is the season for FAMILY and remembering that Christ is the reason for the season is the best thing!
    Good Luck!