Just FYI, I’ve discovered that the best thing to do while running on a treadmill is to watch “Friends” without sound. It burns more calories to read the subtitles in a Joey voice, and lines like “half the taste is in the smell” (re: meatball subs) are still funny, and before you know it, you’ve run for 30 minutes. Also, Rachel calls people “honey” a lot more than a normal person should.

Anyway, Christmas. I haven’t done anything for it. You can read all about that, or just scroll to the bottom and watch a Muppets Christmas video.

People Added to the List: 1

My kids are part of a Christmas Eve family gift exchange that my family has done forever. I opt out of it for my husband and me, but opening a gift on Christmas Eve at this party was one of my favorite things as a kid, so I include my kids in the mix. Originally I forgot to count for two cousins on the list. Or did I remember a cousin but forget one of my kids?

Budget Update:

I almost put in my advice post that one way to save money is to “forget you ever read an article about how much you’re supposed to tip during the holidays.” That felt mean-spirited to say. I don’t have any regular pay-for-service people in my life (such as a house cleaner, dog walker, tutor).  While in theory it would be nice of me to tape a Starbucks gift card to the door, I don’t think we even have the same mail carrier day-to-day. At least twice we’ve put out Netflix envelopes to return, and we could see the carrier remove the Netflix disc from the mail slot in the door, and then re-deliver the same disc back to us immediately. That doesn’t mean that person isn’t worthy of holiday cheer, but I’m assuming that he/she would just take a holiday gift and redeliver it to us.

We do however, have a daycare provider part-time for our toddler, but I’m including a gift for her as part of the money we set aside for his care. I know from an article I did actually read, a babysitter/day care provider should be gifted a week’s worth of pay, but while we can’t afford that much, she deserves a nice gift. I’m still going to keep track of holiday spending I do that doesn’t come out of the $500, because it still counts.

The Holidays Save for Themselves!

Having a boy child means that if there are people in his life that can, they will give him toy cars at every chance. And while his life is rich in cars and trucks, I want to get him trucks he can play with outside (which he oddly doesn’t have). I checked with a friend whose son’s life is also lousy with cars and trucks that he needs to get rid of. We’ve set up a barter, and I can take that off his Christmas list.

Holiday Spending 2017 totals:

Money spent (total): $0

Gift budget remaining: $500

Gift breakdown:

  • The 16: $250 ($15.62 a person)
  • My kids: $180
  • Misc. gifts: $70 (which previously included the babysitter, but I’m not going to adjust yet)

If reading about my spending or not spending habits doesn’t get you into the holiday spirit – which, very weird it doesn’t – then watch this instead:

Also, you don’t know joy until you’ve watched my son watch Swedish Chef videos. Which I can’t show you, so you’ll never know joy, sorry.