Growing up, my family was the type to keep tradition alive. We went to the same places and did the same things every year over the holidays. As our family grew, the presents under the tree started to become more and more overwhelming, and my list of people to shop for became longer with every new niece, nephew, and cousin we added to the family. Something had to give and we, as a family, had to readjust ourselves and break that tradition to accommodate our pocket books and our sanity. Let me take you through our thought process and how we came to the solution!
Identify the problem: First step was to identify the problem. It wasn’t that the young adults were popping out too many kids, as my uncle tried to offer. We found the problem was too much stress on finding and buying a gift for each member of our growing family. So how do we shrink the list of family members and find a solution?
Brainstorm: As a family we started to discuss all of the different ways we could buy less but still make each person feel thought of and special. We worked together and threw out a lot of bad ideas and wrote down the good ones until we all agreed.
Find the solution: We narrowed it down to two solutions, Secret Santa or White Elephant. In the end we decided on both. We set a budget, drew names from a hat and agreed to buy only for that person. Since the white elephant game was still on the list, we agreed to do that as well to keep Christmas morning fun and exciting.
I tell you this story to show you that financial planning is not easy and sometimes change has to happen. This Christmas is shaping up to be one of my favorites because there is no stress going into it. I have my two presents wrapped and when I load my car to make the trip home, I know it will be a relief to have less stuff to carry with me. Change can be hard, but once you get past the hurdle and accept it, relief is waiting on the other side.