I love the holiday season. From the beginning of September (the return to school and autumn?feels very holiday) through the New Year, I love all that goes on. Halloween and Thanksgiving are my personal favorites.
But one cannot discount all that surrounds Christmas and Hanukkah. I was brought up Christian, so it's Christmas for me. Even though we never did Santa Claus with my son, and even though I'm not religious now, there's still a certain magic to the season.
Over the years, we've focused more on the magic and the togetherness and less on the things. This is probably the least material holiday we've had — even though money is still being spent. Mainly because my son and I flew to Philadelphia to have Christmas with my ex-husband.
We have good holiday memories, and it's fun to spend time together. Even though we don't live together anymore, we're still a family, and we can make even more new memories.
Making Your Own Way
This year, the holidays have me thinking about the nature of making your own way. I find that, no matter what you do with your personal life or with your money, someone will have something to say about it.
When I didn't fight my ex on the divorce people gave me crap. When I helped set him up financially so we could both get a good start, I got crap. I got crap for moving across the country. I got crap for visiting over the summer. And I got crap for deciding to come out for Christmas.
But, in the end, we're doing this OUR way, and we are happy about it.
Whether it's how you use your money, or how you set up your household, it's important to understand what matters to you, and figure out your own priorities. No one else is going to live your life for you, and it doesn't help you to live your life simply to oblige others.
My holidays are a little different. I'll sit at my ex's, eating chocolate and reading — after sleeping in. My son will build LEGOs and play video games. And I suspect my ex will go back to bed. It's how we love spending Christmas Day. And there's no reason to do it differently.
Maybe you like doing something different for the holidays. That's just fine, too. Much like our finances, our lives and holidays are personal. So, enjoy doing what you do, and