This time of year is always expensive even on a budget. This year my budget ended up growing.
I had not planned on spending much on gifts this year, but I found myself with a significant other that comes with a boatload of family obligations. As an only child of a single parent I have never had the many family gatherings that others seem to be overwhelmed with for the major holidays. In fact for over a decade I’ve spent most of my holidays with friends or on my own. I visit my mother on Christmas eve, exchanging gifts and maybe watching a movie. I usually provided Christmas Eve dinner as she can’t really cook. If I felt like cooking it was Turkey with all the trimmings, last year I sprang for a frozen pizza. Frankly I’ve always found it to be a little depressing, hence my spending most of the holidays with other friends who also don’t do many family things.
This year I am spending the holidays with my significant other’s family with my mom sandwiched in between his multi-family events. It will be interesting, a bit stressful, and definitely a big change for me. I did have to purchase more gifts this year than usual, some for my SO (with a set limit) and an extra gift for my mother. We decided since neither one of us knows each other’s family well that we would just purchase the gift for our own parent(s) and slap each other’s name on them.
Hopefully next year I can incorporate the extra gifts into a budget. In addition, I hope there is a “next year”!