This Christmas season is different for Nick and I. We both REALLY enjoy surprising each other with presents and in fact, enjoy choosing unique presents that we are more excited to see the other one open more than receiving presents ourselves. Sometimes this can make for a less-than-budget friendly Christmas season. Not to say that we get caught up in the giving of presents over reflecting on the birth of Jesus this time of year, but we do love sharing enthusiasm through gifts! Things have been very different for us these past few months. We have cut back on expenses across the board. We took a 14 day "fast" from spending money on food, eating only what was in our pantry at home, cut back on internet, cable and electric bills (the house stays at 60 degrees more often than not around here...bring a coat if you're coming to visit us this year! :) ), working extra jobs, coupon cutting and discount searching and generally going with less than we're used to. Has it significantly HURT us? Absolutely not. But we are so much more aware of what we spend and how we spend it. All of this, and of course, very strict Christmas present budgets. I have to begin by recognizing that I am working A LOT. Six to seven days a week a lot and am away from the house for work more than 60-70 hours a week (I know that may not be a lot to some, but it has been an adjustment for me). These long hours means that I didn't start my Christmas "shopping" (I use the term loosely because it can't really be compared to SHOPPING) until Friday. I wandered around a few stores and left pretty much empty handed. I was feeling defeated and depressed about not being able to afford presents I would love to buy to surprise Nick. I've never thought of myself as a huge Christmas consumer, but this had really lead me to question: is the Christmas season about buying presents to me?! Horrific and unimaginable- NO WAY! Or is it?! It certainly really has had me thinking and reflecting more about what Christmas really should be about and what should be filling me with joy, which is certainly not my measly Christmas shopping budget. I know there is such a deeper reason I am going through this season during well, this season (excuse the pun, not exactly intentional!). I am looking forward to that time when it all makes sense but now am just trusting that Nick and I find joy this Christmas in spending time with each other which will be better than any present that could be wrapped under the tree.
We have continued to move forward with the adoption process. The t-shirts have arrived and we LOVE them. We love the colors and the design. The sizing was a little surprising to us as the women's are running SMALL (which I knew they would because they are slim women's cut, but SMALL!) and we're adjusting a few orders because of it. If Nick were around I would have him take some pictures so we could model them for you, so until then, you'll just have to sit on the edge of your seats waiting in anticipation! :)
We hope you all are having the opportunity to reflect on the importance of Christmas and what it really means.