Christmas Plans

I moved to the Midwest 2 years ago in January from San Diego. And since that time I’ve never been home for Christmas or Thanksgiving. I did manage to get back to see my Grandma last year about three weeks before Thanksgiving and we celebrated an early Thanksgiving (she does not live in San Diego).

This year I’ve been really down about spending the holiday time by myself. For some reason I just really miss my family. And perhaps that is because I didn’t see my Grandma this year for Thanksgiving (the first time in 10 years that tradition has been broken). And perhaps because I don’t have a boyfriend to spend the holidays with. Last year I spent it with Cpt Baseball and we had a lovely holiday together. Or maybe just because I used to spend every Sunday morning with my dad in graduate school, and now I haven’t seen him for two years!

I talked with my dad this evening and he really wants me to come out. And I really want to come out. I found a flight for $241 round trip. My dad said he’d pay for at least half of the ticket, and all of it if he closes another deal. (He made his first deal in the last year this week! I’m so happy for him. And we had a long conversation about what he has been doing to make ends meet, I’ll tell you guys about this in a separate post!)

Of course, I’ll also have to pay to board Jack during the holiday (around $220) and pay for transportation to the airport or parking at the airport ($50 for airport shuttle or $70 for airport parking). It will still end up being a pretty penny. But I think that family, at least some of the time, has to come before finances.

I’ll pay the boarding fee for Jack. So all told I’ll probably spend about $400 to go see my dad. With my dad possibly giving me back $100 of this.

Sure, it is financially irresponsible for me to have a post about trying to get out of debt in a year and then spending $400 for Christmas.

I’ve decided that I’m not worrying about presents this year beyond what I already have bought. So I’ll finish my step-dad’s quilt and send that to him. I’ll finish the towels for my relatives that I have supplies for. But the others I was going to get little things for are just going to get a nice handwritten card. It is all I can really do right now. I know that they won’t care that much, and would love to have a hand written note.

Also, my dad and I have agreed that me coming out will be our presents to each other. So his portion of my plane ticket will be his present to me and my portion of my plane ticket will be my present to him. I still have the gifts that I got him in Europe and the book he wants that I got with my Swagbucks. My sister’s birthday gift arrived in the mail today, and she will love it. For her Christmas gift I still don’t know what to get her. I have her souvenir from Europe. But her “main” gift will probably end up being a firefly necklace from Amazon that I pay for with my Swagbucks. It isn’t much, but it is really all I can do this year. (My dad is buying her a black friday Laptop!)

I have $155 left in my Christmas fund. I have $150 in my “Fun Fund” – with more to come as finals approaches in two weeks. I’ll also be getting 3 paychecks in December from my teaching job – so one of them will be “extra” cash for me – to the tune of $226. So I have $531 to pay for everything without dipping into my E-fund, using my credit card or using my everyday “spending money”.

I know I said that I couldn’t go anywhere until I was out of debt, but I think that family and people need to come first. If it takes me an extra month to get out of debt because I visit my dad, my sister, my aunt and my cousins (and their kids) for Christmas – I’m okay with that. I have been so disconnected from everyone since I moved here, I need to reconnect.

In the order of priorities (and keeping in mind what I might regret on my death bed), family trumps debt – especially if I can pay to visit my family without going into more debt and without touching my E-fund.


10 Responses to Christmas Plans

  1. Karen says:

    Go spend the holidays with your family! I’ve spent many alone and I’m okay with that but it’s nice to spend it with others. This year, my dad is coming to my place for Christmas; first time.

  2. Airam says:

    Family comes before finances for sure. It’s great that you are able to find the money to go see them without having to dip into savings, and maybe I’m a horrible pf blogger for saying this, but honestlyI think I’d dip into savings and/ or credit card to go see my family for a holiday after not seeing them for so long in a heartbeat. Afterall, the reason we’re all in this position in the first place is that we’ve spent that money on a lot less important things in the past.

    But like I said, maybe I’m a horrible pf blogger!

  3. Spend the holidays with your family, but don’t make that give you permission to go crazy with your money while you’re there. Family comes 1st!

    • SS4BC says:

      Oh, considering my dad is in worse financial shape then me (granted no debt, but has been unemployed for the last year) – I doubt that overspending will be on the agenda while I’m there.

  4. lizzie says:

    We only gift the children in the family now (under 18s) Christmas is more about them anyway and have decided long ago to stop spending on each other. There are so many different ways to show our affection and love without buying more useless stuff.
    When we go to each other s houses we take holiday food or chocolates etc, it all gets eaten and it doesnt lie around for the rest of the year stuck in a draw somewhere. It is so much more relaxing to let all that go as the holidays approach and really its not all that difficult to do.

    • SS4BC says:

      That’s a great idea. My sister falls under that age (she will be 16 next month) – so I think my dad feels an obligation to buy stuff for both of us since we’re both his children. =)

  5. notmymother says:

    “Sure, it is financially irresponsible for me to have a post about trying to get out of debt in a year and then spending $400 for Christmas”

    Yeah… no. (This is an Aussie expression đŸ™‚ Life isn’t all about finances. It would be brilliant to get out of debt within a year, but if you’re miserable it’s not worth it. And it sounds like you would be miserable if you didn’t get to see your family. So this is something you *should* spend money on, because it’s going to improve nourish your soul far more than the amount of money it costs.

    I’m loving your blog, btw. I’m going to have to go back and read all the archives now!

    • SS4BC says:

      Thanks for stopping by!

      And for the encouragement. I don’t feel too guilty anymore – and I think I can still get out of debt in 2010 AND see my family – so it should be okay! =)

  6. Pingback: Who Wants Tutoring!? « Small Steps for Big Change

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