2020 & the Holidays

How would you rate your 2020 so far? On a scale of 1 -10, with 10 being The Best Year Ever. Ha! I personally would have to say 7. That may surprise a lot of people but I'm an optimist. Yes, things haven't gone as planned for us this year. Vacations had to be cancelled. Traditions had to be changed. Home life was adjusted. Lifestyle changes were implemented. Careers were altered. Finances were reviewed. BUT, it wasn't all bad. 

Our Vacations became Staycations. We stayed home and actually enjoyed our home & yard. We are usually so busy running here & there that we don't take the time to "stop & smell the roses", as they say. We bought a bigger kiddie pool for the kids. We planted a garden. We completed items on the Honey-Do List. We missed interacting with others BUT it was wonderful spending extra time with each other & our home.

Our home life became school life. Let me pause and give Teachers major Praise! I am definitely NOT a teacher. This was a major career adjustment. Wowzer! I only had 2 students and felt completely overwhelmed, so Kuddos to all of the teachers out there who have classrooms full of students! 

Our home was now the classroom, the lunchroom, the library, the gymnasium & at all hours of the day. Getting on a schedule was harder than expected for us but we managed overall. Now we have some pretty fun memories from the experience. And if we ever need to do this again we are prepared.

Our lifestyle used to contain such things as movie theaters, shopping at clothing/book/outdoor stores, eating out at restaurants, going to zoos & sporting events. Those things came to a screeching halt and explaining this to two small children was interesting. Just when we thought the Why? Why? Why? phase was over, Boom! We were right back in the middle of it with the added bonus of trying to navigate our responses without showing negative emotions. But we were victorious and the Whys diminished.

Our careers were also altered this year. Luckily for us, we survived having COVID. Prayers to those who were not as fortunate and lost loved ones. We had to go without paychecks coming in due to quarantining, so we understand how hard it can be. Changes have me working from home and my husband not having to travel for work, which is a pay reduction but he's home & healthy again. That's a Win!

Our financial review was long overdue, so a positive plus to getting us to focus. Christmas may not be like it has been in the past with lots of gifts, many of which were not needed but bought because we were caught up in the Spirit of Christmas. This year the few gifts that we do give will be extra special due to giving a lot more thought into the purchase. No more frivolous buying for this crew. Score!

If you are looking to save some money or have less money to spend on Christmas this year we have a few suggestions that may help. **Skip the traditional Christmas tree and start something new. Maybe a DIY tree out of construction paper, cupcake liners, window paint or the Charlie Brown tree. **Perhaps change up Christmas dinner to a tapas style dinner with everyone making a dish from items in the cupboard to share. **Use a stores layaway program or an online layaway program like The Holding Box, which offers layaway & helps individuals with bad or no credit. 

Christmas & shopping this season is without a doubt going to be different. Some stores have upped their prices due to gouging and others to absorb their added costs. Some of our Go-To stores have closed due to the lockdowns, which has us looking for new stores. We're going to shop our small local stores, whether they are locally owned online stores or brick & mortar stores. The small business owners need our support.

We would encourage everyone to look for the positives in the mostly negative 2020. Thank God for the blessings you do have. Jesus is the Reason for the Season! We hope that you & your family have the Happiest of Holidays! 🎄🎁