Monday, November 26, 2012

Celebrating Christmas with Cash

I have made a few subtle changes to my blog. You may have noticed on the right hand side of my page is a nice large button for the Down To Earth Forum.  I am a member there and would like to encourage you to visit or join if you wish.  I have learned so very much from not only the forum, but it's creator Rhonda at her blog called  Down To Earth.  It is exactly as it sounds, a blog about simple living.  It is a lifestyle choice to live more simply.  DTE is full of advice, suggestions, and tips to help you on this path.  The Down to Earth forum is the same.  This is where you can go and share idea's and knowledge about all sorts of simple living idea's.  I learn something new each day and I am always eager to read there.  It is a wonderful gathering place full of support, encouragement, and very special people. 

Each Monday on the DTE forum, as we draw closer to Christmas, in different sections there are idea's posted about all sorts of things we can apply to Christmas or any other gift giving occasion.  From recipe's, to family fun, to money saving tips, encouragement, and ideas posted each Monday.  The whole world feels like one big Christmas ad here in the US, and this is a where I go and just relax and not feel pressured by ads to buy something I know we do not need or want every single day until Christmas!  It is quite overwhelming here in American.  Sarting with Black Friday, people are in a buyers frenzy and many are charging items for Christmas because they do not have the money to pay cash.  Many will take months to pay off what they have purchased for this one day event.  This grieves me as I know there are those that would never spend as much as they do if they did not feel guilt from others for not doing enough.  In simple terms pressure from others for not spending enough on people at Christmas.  Christmas guilt!!!

In our home, Christmas is about spending time with family and gathering together.  We choose to give gifts, but every household celebrates differently.  The point is, this one day should not financially cast a burden on people for many months to follow or even for the rest of the year.  I know of people that pay off Christmas all year until just before it is time to buy all over  again!  In this society if you cannot afford something then you charge it!  There are few who save and wait until they have the money.  Am I the only one that thinks that is a bit out of balance?  Several years ago after a credit card Christmas I stepped off the cc roller coaster of Christmas, and decided things had to change.   I was searching for an answer, and knew I wanted to do things differently.  I didn't know there was a term for what I felt other than the fact that I knew I wanted to simplify. That is when I found Rhonda's blog.  I am sure when I typed simple, or simplify, the web browser pulled up her blog.  I cannot even begin to describe the impact her blog, and the forum has had on my life.  I felt totally alone in this consumer driven society in the way I thought until I found others that felt the same way.  I do not feel alone, I do not think what I am feeling and doing is "crazy" for lack of a better term.  I feel that I am different obviously than the "average" American yes, but I know there are others that feel the same as I do and the support I have really helps me to be encouraged that I am on the right track where otherwise I might have very possibly gone back the way I came because I had very few around me that felt as I do.   I started implementing these changes over time and have never looked back.  I am ok with being one of few that thinks in simple living terms.  Taking responsibility and making changes in our life has made a huge difference.  The most wonderful difference is the feeling of stress you have when you have a CC Christmas and the peace you have when you have a Cash Christmas, there is positively no comparison.  My journey will continue forever as I make small changes and adjustments but that is the way life is, we are never completely set and change here and there to what we need.  I am just so thankful that my  journey is on this path.  The path I was on was heading nowhere in a hurry!

I had a very special day with my friend that I made the quilt for.  She absolutely loved it and I was so thankful we got to spend the day together.  We both have busy houses with amazing children so it was wonderful to spend her birthday together!

I am also very excited!!! I received a very special package in the mail today from my swap partner on the DTE forum.  For those that wanted to take part we had a Christmas decoration exchange.  My partner sent me this very beautiful flag garland, some tea packages for me to enjoy a wonderful cup of tea, a postcard of where she is from and a very kind card!  I took a picture to share with you and as soon as I did I hung the garland over my sewing area to enjoy.   It is lovely :)


Sue xx said...

doesn't it it look pretty, I "need" to make some too!
It's truly lovely having you come and help out at the forum too

Daphne Bryson said...

Good Morning Amy, I agree with everything you have said. We have a cash Christmas. I do tend to buy gifts throughout the year, but that is because if I see something, I know will be loved, I buy it there and then and put it away. I am getting a bit frustrated with blogs that jump from Thanksgiving straight into Christmas and have stopped visiting until after Christmas. Christmas is a celebration of two days here in England, so I don't understand why people are gearing up now. Do they not realise the stress they are putting themselves under. Next week I shall be making my Christmas cake, but that is to allow it to mature. I want to enjoy Christmas not feel pressurised into this insane spending spree. Thank you for writing about this, I know there will be so many people who agree with you. I shall visit the Down to Earth Forum. Have a lovely day. Best Wishes Daphne

prairieharmony said...

Sue, yes you should make some! Maybe we could encourage her to make a tutorial on the forum? It is my pleasure to help in any way that I can. The forum is very dear to me.

Daphne, thank you so much for your comment. My post's are always written from a place of love and kindness and I did worry a bit that it might come off as harsh. It is hurtful to me to see others struggle and I wish for them to experience the joy and happiness of Christmas with their families. Here right after Christmas as I posted previously the Christmas "push" begins..I can only do what I can in my little corner which is encourage those that wish to enjoy this time and not be overwhelmed by retailers. I look forward to seeing you at DTE. I really think you will enjoy it, it's a very lovely place :)