Insert cliche Christmas post here…

November 21, 2010 · 32 comments

I don’t want to send a wave of panic throughout the PF blogoshere, but I have some very important news to share, Christmas is 32 days away. Yes, 32 days. That means you have 31 days to buy, make, or steal some presents for those that you have to want to get gifts.

Over the coming weeks you will be bombarded with PF posts about black Friday bargains, cute Xmas craft ideas, how to budget for the big day, etc. Seeing that I don’t really keep up with the latest coupons and that I definitely suck at making things, I’ll just share a few thoughts on the holiday.

First, let’s talk budget. Say you plan to spend $500 for your Xmas gifting. If you’re on top of your game, you’d have put $41.67 in savings over the last 11 months to reach that $500 goal. But if you’re like 99% of Americans (myself included), all you’ve spent the last year doing is dreaming of apple cider and mashed potatoes, not budgeting for gifts. We knew Xmas was coming, we just failed to financially prepare for it. We have no one to blame, but ourselves.

Even though we don’t budget specifically for Xmas spending, we still plan to drop some coin. We are still trying to figure out exactly how much we think we should spend on gifts. I’m trying to convince her the dollar store is a great place to go shopping, but something tells me we’ll end up in Nordstrom or Anthropologie ;)… she has three sisters.

Girl Ninja and I both share a strong affinity for the Christmas season. It’s our favorite time of the year. I like it because it means I get to be home in Seattle with friends and family. Girl Ninja likes it because she can buy a bunch of stuff to decorate our home and because she can excuse her excessive Starbucks runs… “But Ninja, they only serve Peppermint mochas for a few weeks!” I pick and choose my battles, and when it comes to Girl Ninja and decorating and/or Starbucks, I’ve learned to shut up real quick.

I’m sure as December 25th approaches, I’ll have more thoughts to share, but for now I leave you with a few questions….

How do you plan for Xmas shopping? Do you budget throughout the year? Pull from discretionary savings? Or make everything yourself?

Do you have any holiday traditions with your family?

What’s your favorite holiday food? p.s. the answer is mashed potatoes.

Women: What is it about Christmas decorations that gets you high on life?

This article is part of the Go Banking RatesHolidays and Money” writing project, an on-going project that encourages creative writing in the PF blog community, centralized around a single broad-reaching subject.

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