With it being the Christmas season, I’ve been reading a lot about how many Christmas presents should I buy, how much is too much, etc. For the past 3 years, my family has done something totally different and it works.
At first, it started as a recycling project. We needed money to go with some friends on vacation and couldn’t fit it in our budget so we started saving anything that could be recycled that the scrapyard would purchase. We separated the different metals and such (the price is higher for separated metals). When it came time for us to pay for the vacation, we took our finds to the scrapyard and low and behold, we gained $800. That paid for what we needed! Ever since we have saved our recycling and turn it in before the vacation.
Three years ago, we decided that the kids and grandkids were accumulating too much “stuff”. So I asked the kids if they would rather get no gifts and we just take the entire family on a vacation over Christmas. They loved the idea. I went all out that year. I sold stuff on eBay, recycled, etc. We spent 8 days at Great Wolf Lodge in Wisconsin Dells. We had 15 people (My 2 daughters and their husbands, 8 grandkids and my uncle.) The resort had a room that fit us all, a kitchen, and living room with a fireplace. My oldest daughter brought a mini tree and we set up for the holiday. The kids still have not stopped talking about this trip.
The second year, the entire family couldn’t do it so we took a simple weekend trip to Chicago and stayed in a nice hotel and went to Legoland. Although this trip was not as exciting as the first, the kids had fun and it was still a memorable event.
This year, we are taking the family to a state park with a Toboggan Run. The Potawatomi Inn at Pokagon State Park in Angola Indiana has some great features. It has a library, a game room with tons of games, a craft room, the toboggan run, outside firepit and so much more. This one will be 4 days and 3 nights. We’ll see what the kids say after this one.
I’ve found during these past few years that it is time to get rid of all the “stuff” in our lives and make more memories and experiences that the kids will remember for a lifetime. They don’t remember a single present that I ever got them but they continue to talk about these vacations year after year.