It irritates me to no end when someone complains about "not having money" for some frivolity. Especially when the person most likely doesn't really know or have a real feeling of "not having money".
To me, to say one doesn't have money means you have no income. Being "broke" because you paid all your bills this week and there's no "fun money" until your next paycheck doesn't mean you do not have money. It means you've tapped out your available money on bills. It means you're most likely living beyond your means. It means you didn't budget. Or save. Or plan well. It does not mean you do not have money, it just means you do not have money for the fun, unnecessary frivolities in life that we as humans have put importance on.
Please, before you think I'm judging harshly or being unfair, just remember I lived it. For six. long. years. No income. No promise of a check in one or two weeks or even in a few days. I've been homeless. I've been unemployed. My husband has been injured, homeless, and unemployed. Guess what? We bounced back. It took a hand up and hard work, but we did it.
By the way, I find it shameful to publicly whine about not having money when a family member could literally breathe their last at any given moment. There are some things far more important than paying for Christmas.
So what does this have to do with memories? Plenty.
Memories are priceless, yet for the most part are free. Sure, a few extra dollars can create an extra special memory, but one doesn't need to go "all out" to make a simple moment in time special.
My mom told me that a friend of theirs does the 12 days of Christmas every year. They do not focus on a lot of gifts for Christmas Day, but instead, they focus on family traditions and creating special memories with each other every day.
I've taken it a step further. Instead of 12 Days of Christmas memories, we started the day after Thanksgiving. A whole month of memories. As I'm typing this out, I'm wondering why stop there? Why not a year? And would anyone else want to accept the challenge?
On Friday we put up and decorated our tree. Together.. As a family. Since we use the same pre-lit tree every year, and save the same ornaments year after year, the only cost to create that memory was time. A little bit of ourselves went into those moments spent together, as a family, decorating our tree.
On Saturday, my husband and I went on a morning date. It was a cheap but fun date. We didn't spend over $20. The kiss he stole was free. We also pulled out everyone's stockings, watched a movie as a family, and in the afternoon we pulled out board games and played them together.
One thing I think everyone by now really knows about me is I bake. I bake a lot. I really enjoy it. There isn't anything I can't bake
Today, it was sugar cookies. Not just any sugar cookies, but cut out cookies. I had this
Of course, I had help from my girls during the baking process. ;)
We cut out snowmen shapes, turkeys, children's hands, a few roosters, and Christmas trees.
It's not baking unless you're snitching pieces of dough....
Since we really can't have her snitching all the dough, plus there is raw egg in it, mini m&m's to the rescue....
Her little flour covered face is just too cute and so so precious. She will not remember this, but I will. Her older siblings will. :) And we'll have the photos for her.
After we finished cutting out and baking all of the cookies, I pulled out everything I had available for decorating.
Everyone, even Daddy, came out to decorate cookies. The grand parents stopped in while there were still cookies to ice and decorate as well, so it turned into a great evening!
Yes, it is necessary to have half of your body on the table while decorating cookies...especially if you're four...
This was also the quietest they had been all. day.
She was a total mess!!! It ended in a bath, where she totally rocked the Woody Woodpecker hair style!
These four cookies I decorated. The red one is "Ruby Rooster" in honor of my friend Debbie's sweet roo who passed away this morning. RIP sweet Ruby. You were very loved.
Speaking of my friend Debbie, here's a sneak peek at her gift! This is a tag I made for it. :) No, her name is not on it, and there is a good reason for that....but I can't tell you yet...
We still haven't found the angel top for my tree, so we substituted her for a snowman today. He was a big hit with the kids.