I know you’re expecting some more money saving strategies for Thanksgiving or Christmas, but being frugal is not the obsession to save money just as the people on the other end of the spectrum obsess about spending money.  If you want some great tips for saving money on your Thanksgiving Dinner, Hudson Valley Parent has you covered. As we are rapidly approaching Thanksgiving I’m reminded of Christmas shopping because that’s how retailers are; always pushing you into the next holiday before the current one has even started.

I’ve silently watched over the last few years as black Friday deals and sales started creeping closer and closer to the end of Thanksgiving.  I’ll even admit that there was a time when I did get up before the sun and stand in line in the freezing cold to get that “dream item” I so desperately wanted to get at bargain prices. To any one who still has the motivation to do this, I say fine go for it. What I do have a problem with is retailers enticing people to push back from the dinner table early to go shopping. That’s a fine display of gratitude for what we have on Thanksgiving right? So my question is, what are we doing to our families all in the name of making them happy?

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Do we want our kids to remember that really awesome toy under the tree that we froze our butt’s off for?  Sorry, but this pretty much never happens.  What we remember from our childhoods is the same as what our kids will remember from theirs, which is being together. Toys and trinkets often get broken or forgotten before January ushers us into Valentines Day before we’re ready. Do we want our kids to love what we get them, more than they love us?  If that were the case, would we look into those beautiful little eyes of theirs and tell them we love them because they did the dishes or picked up their toys?  No, we love our kids not for what they do for us, but for who they are and I for one want my kids to feel the same way about me.

As someone who has lost both parents by age 32, there is one thing I know for sure. I would give ANYTHING for more TIME with them. It goes so fast and the objects my parents bought me, the places they brought me, and the countless things they did for me are just swirls of color in my memory. What I want more than anything is that time, just talking to them, feeling their love for me through their words and their hugs and kisses.

So while I wouldn’t be the Discount Diva if I didn’t think spending less money on the things we NEED was important, I have learned that the real gifts in life are FREE. Before your face disappears from those Thanksgiving photos with smiling people (the faces you love and cherish) I just implore you to ask yourself what that bargain is really costing you.

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