This week, we’re refreshing our tried and true Margin in Christmas series! Each day you can expect to see a blog post exploring a different way to peacefully practice Christmas.
Last day to order from our prayer journal shop in time for Christmas is December 15, 2022!
Walking into Home Goods this time of year makes me think of that old-fashioned gif of the little girl just dumping money from a wallet out the window. We can walk the aisles with that so ridiculous, but all too common thought – Do I need this? How could I use this? Where could I put this? Y’all fess up. I know I’m not the only one! It’s funny when I catch myself doing this how I’m brought back to the reality of just how absurd I sound. If we need it, we likely already know.
This season can create so many “needs” for us. We are likely in more stores or online shops than we are all year long. Even if we are intentional about NOT shopping throughout the year, this time of year, it feels impossible to avoid it. It’s easy to covet what we bought for someone else or spot things in a store and suddenly become very unsatisfied with our own things. We have to fight this or we will spend the season spending more than we should or frustrated we can’t have all the things we want. Neither have that “peace & joy for all” ring to it.
Here are some tips for spending well during the holidays
1. Get a favorite decor piece and forget the rest.
I’m not a Grinch. Get you something cute to decorate your house. Just don’t get all the extra things that you kinda like that don’t really go but they’re cute and you need something to put on that end table. Invest in one nice piece. This year, we got a canvas to put over our fireplace from Lindsay Letters. We are minimalist so all the doodads aren’t really me anyway but a pretty canvas that adds a little color (ahem, black) to our all-white mantle is my idea of spicing things up for the holidays. Figure out what your thing is and forget the rest.
2. Don’t make any impulse purchases for yourself.
I realize I say that as someone who does a third of our business for the year the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas. But I’m firm here. If you weren’t planning on grabbing our yearly or another product for yourself and just get that itch right before you check out that you need something for you, don’t add it. I’m ok with a little fewer sales. Protect your heart friend. I say this totally from experience. I can’t tell you how many Black Friday purchases I have made for myself. Not stuff I needed but just saw for cheap and got a buzz from the sales.
3. Have some areas of discipline in a season of excess.
It’s really easy (at least for me!) to see this season as one of exceptions. Bust the budget because we need gifts. Bust the food budget because we have to bring the right food to the party. Bust the clothes budget because…holiday pictures, duh! Give yourself some freedom to play in those areas that align with those goals you set and then exercise some discipline in those other categories. One thing I’ve learned from my health reset is that it is entirely possible to enjoy life without saying yes to everything. And it’s actually a virtue.
COMING UP NEXT: Margin in Doing
My mother, who grew up in steep poverty, even though we did not, introduced us to the fine art of window shopping. We’d go out to the mall or a beautiful store just to see and appreciate, not to buy. She’d talk to us about how important it was to be able to look at beautiful things and allow them to fill our heart with joy for a moment, without needing to own them for ourselves. A little like going to an art gallery or museum, I suppose.
I’ve carried this on with my own children, and have seen them truly take it to heart as they get older: the ability to intentionally enjoy seeing the many things for sale, without becoming enthralled by the need to buy them.
Oh Lizzie! This is such an important lesson to instill in our kids. God bless your sweet momma for teaching you that in a situation that could have kept you focused on all y’all went without.