Make Your Holidays More About Memories Than Money

If you’ve not felt the pinch of the economy then consider yourself amongst an elite few.  Across the board people are finding themselves having to find ways to make the most out of whatever they have, no matter how much or how little. One season where we need to start thinking with the heart to outdo what’s in our hands is the Christmas season.  So many times people go out of their way and out of their minds spending money they simply do not have.  My thought, even before the changes with the economy is that a memory will outlast money any day.

Accustomed to completing my Christmas shopping by October, I began to feel overwhelmed this year because I wasn’t able to tackle my list early on like I had been in the past.  I haven’t even started. I’m used to off-season and outlet shopping that will rival any barganista. Maybe I was to take my Christmas giving to a new level by being even more frugal and even more creative in celebrating those I love as we remember the birth of Christ.

Christmas-shopping

So I decided to share some Christmas shopping secrets with you:

  1. A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words and Doesn’t Cost a Thousand Dollars.-Print photos from events throughout the year and present them in inexpensive, yet beautiful photo albums.
  2. Leave a Love Note.-Present your loved ones with a handwritten, heartfelt letter telling them just how much they mean to you. Kick it up a notch by placing it in a frame or rolling it in a scroll with a dainty (or masculine) ribbon.
  3. Give a Sweet Treat.-You can’t beat a sweet!  Assemble their favorite sweet (or savory) homemade or purchased snacks in a gift bag or box.  Attach with a handwritten note that your loved ones can cherish long after the sweets are gone.
  4. Food, Glorious Food.- You can’t lose with food!  Print custom-made food coupons and present to your family and friends.  Offer them a redeemable coupon to use that will allow them to receive their favorite meal, baked good or specialty prepared especially by you. Who wouldn’t want to be able to redeem a coupon for Grandma’s Fried Chicken, Collard Greens, Macaroni and Cheese, Sweet Tea and Peach Cobbler at some random time in the year?
  5. Go Coupon Crazy.-Coupons are all the rave!  Take your couponing to the next dimension by taking a cue from the above tip and creating personalized coupons from you to your family and friends.  Offer to babysit, wash a carwash,  treat to a spa, or do breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner.  The good thing about this is that they can redeem it long after the Christmas season has come and gone.
  6. Give the Kitchen to Your Kin.-Organize favorite family recipes and present members with an inexpensively printed family cookbook.
  7. Share the Days.-Make an inexpensive, personalized calendar with photos and birthday reminders on sites like walmart.com to give to loved ones.

@AngelaMMoore316

Gimme a Break!

The wonderfully talented and sassy Nell Carter belted out the following lyrics on her hit television show in the 80s: Gimme a Break Theme Song

Gimme a break I sure deserve it It’s time I made it to the top Gimme a break I’m looking forward Get behind me Pull out every stop

Matthew 7:7 says “Ask and it shall be received”. James 4:2 says “You have not because you ask not”. So taking a cue from God and Ms. Carter (RIP) I’m asking for this simple request….”Gimme a Break”.

Nell Carter in Gimme a Break.

You know it’s time for a vacation, a respite or reprieve when your two-year-old niece interrupts her own car seat serenade with Justin Timberlake to yell out emphatically and with authority, “Sweet Tee (that’s what she calls me), WE need a vacation!” I humbly agreed as if she were the adult and I were the toddler. Not that anything has to go on or wrong in life to need a break or a breather, but simply by default of living we all need a healthy escape. Being human requires rest, fun, adventure, and new memories. I’m talking about the kind of break that doesn’t have to cost a lot (unless you can afford it) but that’s so good, and so relaxing, and so invigorating, and so exciting and fantastically whatever you need it to be that you talk about it and thrive from it for years after it’s over. People often comment on how “nice” I am. And for the most part I am (or try my best to be), but that’s due in LARGE part to me being able to get myself in check and keep myself in check through regularly scheduled rest and relaxation, otherwise I’d be…well, I won’t even give my doubters or the devil any room there. So, I’m waiting on, praying for, looking forward to, and receiving any ways God desires for me to catch a break (meaning I’m very selective about who I share my spare time with, what I do and where:). But if the Lord prefers I enjoy a gift of a Groupon vacation. I’ll take it! A free trip from some contest I’ve entered? I’ll be present and accounted for! A trip to the spa or several spas? I’ll go! Some serious outlet shopping? Yes, ma’am or sir, I’m available! A girlfriend getaway? Pass my new luggage please! A four or five-day escape with money to spare? Count me in! A rainy Saturday with all day Food Network “Chopped”, “Restaurant Impossible”, ” The Pioneer Woman” and “Barefoot Contessa”? Remote, pizza and popcorn please! A daycation or quick retreat? Yep, I’m down. I’ve learned that knowing what it takes to keep you going is just as important as the act of keeping going. For me, that’s a break (or two or three or more) each year. I need breaks. I depend on breaks. I like breaks. I expect breaks and I don’t feel bad at all by admitting any of the above. So for now, I’ll enjoy some photos of breaks-of-old, hum along to Nell’s sweet song and make myself ready for the adventures ahead. And when it happens new posts and pics will follow!!!!

@AngelaMMoore316