Monday, November 10, 2008

Saving Sanity with the Holidays

One of my favorite things to do is to give stuff to other people. I will start buying Christmas presents for next Christmas the day after the year's Christmas. I LOVE giving away what I have to others! So I thought I'd share with you some of the things my family is planning on doing this year. This is going to be a multi-part series because this is my FAVORITE part of Christmas (well, other than the birth of Jesus, that's my most favorite)!

Angel Tree

Every year my family picks a family off the Angel Tree at our Church. I like to pick a child close to my son's age (we may have to do 2 this year!). You should think about doing this as well. If you don't know where to get a name, there are usually trees set up in the mall or other large stores for this purpose, you can even just buy a bunch of toys and put it in the Toys For Tots bins! Here's how to make the most of it:

  • Take an entire evening or afternoon and dedicate it solely to the purpose of getting these gifts. Even if you are like me and you have an entire closet full of gifts you can pull out for any occasion, take time and go to buy just 1 extra special gift that you will specifically buy for this purpose. It will help you take your mind off of everything else going on in your life and help you focus your energy on someone who really needs your help.

  • Go out as a family. Have dinner out. Can't afford dinner out? Take sandwiches to the food court of the mall or just get dessert out. Start the trip off having fun as a family.

  • Go shopping! That is the purpose of the evening, buying things for people who need them. If you are getting a name off a tree like we do, you will likely have a wish list. Try your best to get what they want. We make sure to look at the list before we choose a name. We know that we can afford to buy someone a Wii for Christmas, but we can get clothes and toys.

  • Wrap those presents! Have the kids help out, even if they can't wrap yet, they can dispense the tape or pick out the paper or ribbons!

  • End the experience by making hot chocolate and talking about how much fun you had that day and how much you think the family that gets your presents will enjoy them. You can sing Christmas carols or make cookies, do whatever your family enjoys! You want this to be a memory and you can't make it a memory that will stand out for years to come if you just rush into the store, grab whatever you see first and give it away! You need to take your time and enjoy!

So, this is my first installment in the Saving Sanity with the Holidays series. I hope you can take some of the tips to heart and enjoy your family more this holiday season by helping other families out!

Happy Savings!


Anonymous said...

Awww.. that sounds so sweet! I may have to do that this year.

Lori said...

I gave you a couple more "shout outs" on my blog...You should really read these last 2 post. CVS shopping is amazing, read it.

Julie said...

Great ideas Sherry. Thanks for mentioning the Angel Tree concept. Many stores have these and I've participated for years. Christmas to me is really about giving to those less fortunate.