If you’re a reader of my other blog, Budget Blonde, you might know that I am not the biggest fan of holidays. I know I know, I am a such a scrooge, but I have good reasons for it. Just to name a few:
1. People get so stressed around the holidays. Admit it if you’ve cried at least once over holiday stress.
2. You’re always going to disappoint someone. You can’t see every grandmother, uncle, and cousin on both sides of the family and your spouse’s family. You will go crazy. And yet, whatever choice you make, it always seems like the wrong choice. Even if you stick to your guns and try to enjoy time with your own little family well, that makes someone mad too. In sum, you can’t win.
3. The holidays cause people to spend money they would have never dreamed of spending any other time of year.
4. The holidays cause people to eat food they would never eat at any other time of year.
I know that generosity, love, and spirituality are also associated with the holiday season, but I feel like more people are worried about “donating” their money to Black Friday sales than they are about anything else.
So, a few ideas on how to save money and actually enjoy your Thanksgiving:
1. Travel and Skip It
I don’t mean to actually skip it and pretend Thanksgiving never happened, but consider some alternatives. What about taking a family trip and eating Thanksgiving dinner at a restaurant? You won’t have to worry about the stress of cooking, and you get to enjoy seeing a new place. My family did this for several years, and the destination was always a surprise. We often didn’t know where we were going until we got to the airport.
2. Have it Catered
I recently saw an ad in the paper for a fully cooked Thanksgiving meal for 12 people for $99. That’s pretty amazing. If you do that, you can spend time making some side dishes or desserts that your family loves without having to stress about having to cook 14 things in two days.
3. Enjoy it With Friends
The last few Thanksgiving dinners I had were spent in Grenada. I had them with friends and co-workers and people from all different countries and walks of life. Not that I don’t love my family, but those dinners were some of the most interesting and memorable Thanksgivings I’ve ever had. If you have a friend from out of the country or you’re living away from family like we are, then consider having a meal with people outside of your immediate family.
This Thanksgiving, we are actually doing a combination of everything. Our children are getting baptized the Saturday after Thanksgiving so both sides of our family are coming up since their God parents are 4 of our siblings. All of us are having Thanksgiving dinner together at a restaurant. So, there will be some family time, but no one has to stress about cooking. All in all, I’d call that a win.
What are your Thanksgiving plans?