Dear Christmas Stress: Peace Out!!

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Hey there my fellow exhausted Moms!

I’m assuming you survived Christmas!? Yeah, me too! It’s always kind of nice for everything to get back to “normal” isn’t it? Well, semi-normal anyway.ย  Including the checking account!

We have toys and all ofย  their disassembled parts strolled from one end of the house to the other! I have given up on the “lets keep all the pieces together so we know where they are at” speech. That’s okay! I’m just thankful we were able to buy Christmas this year! It didn’t look to promising a month ago!

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My husband was given lay off papers the day after Thanksgiving. Yikes! Things got a little really rough. They are still rough. However, we will survive. He has started a more stable job and we are just impatiently waiting for the checks to start coming in.

One of the top things on our 2018 list is getting our emergency fund set up! Because we do not have one. We talk about it a lot, however, talking about it does not put money in the savings account!

I highly recommend an emergency fund. My family is proof you need one of them suckers! Plus, I’m a huge Dave Ramsey fan and this is one of his very first steps in budgeting! I apologize Dave, we will get there, I promise! If you are not familiar with Dave Ramsey and his book, The Total Money Makeover, I highly recommend it! I’ve read it personally from front to back and I love it! If one of your New Year Resolutions is to find financial freedom in 2018, get this book! I promise you won’t regret it ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyway, are you curious how we’ve survived over the last month? Through Christmas and 2 birthdays? It has not been easy. As soon as my husband received lay off papers he started looking for side hustles. He started selling seasoned firewood and was also able to go to work for his uncle doing work on his ranch. Were these side hustles going to pay our bills? Negative. They did, however, provide us with gas, food, and any other necessities we needed to get by on.

I decided my sweet, hardworking husband needed some help. Especially if we were going to be able to buy any gifts at all for our kids and grand-babies, it wasn’t going to happen with me sitting around feeling sorry for myself. So, I unleashed my creative side and came up with some super cute caramel apple gift sets to sell for Christmas. They were perfect for teachers! I posted them on social media and was able to make a pretty good amount off them. Thank you Jesus! The money I made from them was going to my family’s Christmas.

I also did a lot of praying. Lots.

We contacted all of our debtors, including utilities, and made whatever possible payment arrangements that were available. Unfortunately, we still ended up having to take out a small loan (sorry Dave) to cover a couple of payments that no arrangements could be made on. So, now we have a new payment to go along with the other payments that we are having trouble making. Goofy huh? You gotta do what you gotta do people. And I personally enjoy having electricity. At least for a little while longer ๐Ÿ™‚

My husband and I never post our problems on social media. My only reason for giving you an inside look at the trials we have faced over the last month is to give you hope if you find yourself in a similar situation. That being said, a sweet friend of mine, somehow heard about my husbands lay off. I’m still not sure how. Regardless, she contacted me and told me she had something for me. She gave me $200! I was speechless. I did not want to take it, but I have come to discover that people can get their feelings hurt if they are led to spread kindness and the anticipated receiver refuses to receive it. So, I hugged her repeatedly, thanked her repeatedly and fought back tears as I also thanked my father above for sending such a blessing.

I was able to buy my children and grandchildren Christmas presents. It wasn’t much, however, the little ones are too little to know that, and the older ones understand. Actually, the older ones said to spend their part of Christmas on the little ones. How sweet is that? Proud mom moment for sure! But, I didn’t do that. All my babies, old and young, received gifts.

During this trial, I have come to discover a lot of things. First off, I freaked out a bit way to much when I thought I wasn’t going to be able to buy my kids Christmas presents. Secondly, Christmas is made to be so stressful! What is the deal?! The true meaning of Christmas is not stressful. It’s beautiful and should bring peace and comfort. Not migraines, tears and debt! I will be the first to admit that I have always gotten carried away at Christmas. I do believe this is going to change.

My children receive all they need, and then some, all throughout the year. Next Christmas, I will be doing a minimal Christmas list for each child. Something you want, something you need, something to wear and something to read!

Who knows, we may start a vacation fund along with our emergency fund and just go on vacation next Christmas! I think Jesus would be cool with a beach birthday celebration, don’t you? ๐Ÿ™‚

I pray for aย very blessed 2018 for each one of you!

 

 

 

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