Tuesday, October 30, 2012

It's Different This Year

I can't believe it's been almost a year...
...Since I quit my full time job to be a stay at home Mama.
...since my little man was born, and melted our hearts forever.
...since the last holiday season came and went!
And now it's almost here again. If you are one of those people about to go all nutso on me for mentioning the holidays in october... cool your jets and wait a month to read this, deal?
Actually I've been thinking about holidays and birthdays for months... because I know everything is going to be different this year. Going from a two income household of two, to a one income household of three has made a significant change in our financial situation. (Shocker, I know.) But that is also going to make a significant change in how we celebrate the holidays this year.

When I worked full time, I didn't always like my job. I worked with some over the top 'characters' and a typical day played out more like an outrageous workplace sitcom than your every day office. Some days it drove me nuts, some days it amused me to no end, and some days I was bored to tears-- but with as crazy as the work environment was, the owners of the company were always very kind to me and very generous. Every year at Christmas especially, they would give a very generous bonus, and that bonus check was one of my favorite parts of Christmas each year.
That sounds bad-- it was my favorite because I never counted on it being there... I went about my holiday as if it weren't coming so that it truly was a bonus--surplus-- when I got it... then I would take that check, cash it, and go spend it all as fast as I could buying toys, food, and clothes for an 'adopted' Christmas child. I loved that lavish, guilt free shopping spree so much. Truly, it was one of my favorite parts of Christmas every year.
And this year... it's going to be different.
Because obviously I am no longer working at that job, and my current job doesn't pay in cash. ;) I am not getting a Christmas bonus check this year, and that is so disappointing to me because even though finances are tight-- I don't want to have to 'cut back' to exclude that part of our (okay, my) holiday traditions.
Soooo... I've been working for months on several little side projects trying to squirrel away enough money for us to adopt another kid or two this Christmas.  I sold a bunch of Sam's baby clothes, I'm going to have a booth at a holiday market selling handmade accesories, and... I spent hours upon hours this fall picking, cleaning, peeling, cooking, and canning fruit that I am selling. So far I have been successful in making about half of my goal amount... which is exciting!
I also talked to my extended family to get them on board, with the suggestion that we cut back on the extravagant gifts we give each other and in place of that... help someone else out. They agreed (some of them begrudgingly--cough-Dad!-cough cough) and we are going to hopefully be able to adopt a larger family this year and go on a family Christmas shopping spree... which I am actually looking forward to.

So things are different this year. Not... different bad. But different. But it kinda feels even better. Because this year I've been working through it and thinking about it for months. I have been planning and saving and already praying for the family we will 'adopt' this year. It's different... but maybe even different better?

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