It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Christmas time. Amazing how quickly we jump from fall decorations to Christmas decorations, planning, gift buying, crafts, party planning and more. It can be overwhelming and stressful. Why do we do this to ourselves? All in the name of holiday spirit?
I love the real reason why my family celebrate Christmas. I also love the excitement in my children’s faces when they open the gifts on Christmas morning. However, more often than not, I easily get sucked up and away with the commercial consumerism and greedy-gimmies that happens this time of year. It is very easy to lose sight of the true meaning of Christmas.
Each year, I have grand intentions of staying on budget, gifting only what they need (even doing the three gifts theme), making memories, doing daily advent crafts, and oh so many more. Needless to say, by the time Christmas rolls around, I find myself burnt out, totally being a bah-hambug Scrooge, over budget and not in any holiday cheer.
This year our family is taking Suntrust’s Meaningful within Your Means Christmas challenge to try or do something differently. Our goal is to create lasting meaningful memories of the holidays, without over-committing and overspending.
There are 3 “areas” of this challenge. The goal is to try and do something from each area:
Make Time For Yourself
In order to be the best YOU, you must put the Me back in Mommy. If you are stressed out no one is going to enjoy the holidays. If mama aint happy, nobody’s happy!
This is the perfect time to find your best yes by skipping the obligations that just cause you more stress and heart ache.
Making time for your best self also means planning ahead so you’re not stressed about finances which can quickly suck the joy out of the season. Try this great Holiday Budgeting Spreadsheet to account for all of those little expenses that add up and talk with family and friends to manage expectations for gifting.
Make Time Together
One of my favorite family traditions that I do with my boys the weeks leading up to Christmas is we do a daily Advent activity together. Our favorite the past few years has been Truth in The Tinsel. The daily devotions are short and kid centered and there are crafts that go with the devotion.
Focusing on the reason we celebrate Christmas and spending time with family is very important. Whether we spend time making and creating Christmas crafts, snowman name crafts, baking holiday treats, or just enjoying time together… making memories is the most important thing.
One of our family’s traditions each Christmas is to take part in Samaritan’s Purse: Operation Christmas Child. Giving back to others is such an essential part of the holidays in particular and puts the focus on the true spirit of the season rather than the greedy gimmies the commercialized version the stores shove in our faces daily.
Giving back to others helps remind us to give thanks and be blessed … and to bless others. It also teaches the boys the beauty in giving to others who have less… without the return of gratification. Giving to bless for the sole purpose of blessing others.
Would you like to do the Meaningful Within Your Means challenge with me?
Do you have any other tips for keeping your holidays low on stress and high on quality time?
At SunTrust Bank their purpose is lighting the way to financial well-being. They want to help you reduce holiday stress through tools, advice, and inspiration that encourages you to make your holidays meaningful by spending within your means and focusing on meaningful experiences.
To get started visit suntrust.com/holiday
Meaningful spending made easy with a budgeting tool to help you make a plan and stay on track with your holiday spending. Download here.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of SunTrust. The opinions and text are all mine.