Prep Monday—Holidays

We all have a lot of stuff, some more than others. How much of it is useful? How much is simply a “wanna have?” How do you decide and what do you do about it?

Since we’re downsizing, with less than 18 months to go until the Big Move out into the boonies, we’re trying to get rid of a lot of that “stuff.” Most of the big items will stay until the very end, furniture, etc., but we’ve already moved out the guest bed—sorry, folks! We do still have that comfy couch . . .

Anyway, when family asks me what I want for Christmas, it’s tough to answer. The things we need are things we can’t acquire just yet, like building materials, appliances for the new place, and that sort of thing. We already have a lot of survival gear and, like I said, nothing really needed just yet.

We moved enough times over the years (9 in 18 years, not counting a few hotels we stayed in for a short time) that we have it down to a science, and one rule is “wait until you get there!”

My answer usually comes down to something consumable, wearable, or very small.

At the same time, what about gift giving?

Most of our family understands, on some level, the prepping; but that doesn’t mean they want to participate! Plus, with young kids, it’s even harder.

We did, however, decide to really limit our budget this year—when you have a single-minded goal, like moving and self-sustainability, it helps a lot when you’re shopping. We’re sticking to helpful items and consumables—fortunately, that’s often what the kids ask for (the 7- and 3-year-old want Camelbaks)!

I think back on Christmas when I was a kid—holy cow, can’t even imagine what the adults spent, and if I figure it in 2014 dollars, I might keel over . . .

Mounds of presents—literally. From Mom and Dad, Grandma, Santa.

Even when my daughter was little, we’d drive to STL to see my family on Christmas Eve, then back to CoMo on Christmas Day—we’d have to stop at home to unload THE TRUCK before we could go over to my in-laws’.

One year, when my 21-year-old was a baby, just two weeks old, I took him to his room to change his diaper and when I came back, I could barely step from the hallway into the living room . . .

So this year, I guess I’ll be Scrooge. Comparatively speaking, that is. We’re trying to change, trying to let all this “stuff” go, but it’s hard, especially with the little ones. But it’s worth it. Until I start shopping!




14 comments on “Prep Monday—Holidays

  1. It really is hard with the little ones. I am cutting back this year due to being unemployed. I’ve spent more than I planned, but less than last year. Progress.

    As far as “stuff”, I’m also donating tons of Christmas decorations this year. I used to put up a tree in every room. Now, I’m lucky to get one up. Salvation Army, here I come!


    • A tree in every room? Wow! We have the same tree discussion every year: real or fake? Dennis likes fake, because they don’t shed; me, I prefer real ones. This year, though, I was considering using the small one from the store. That thought lasted about five minutes! I have a lot of decorations, tree and otherwise, family ones, handmade, etc. Would hate not to see those this year – but I will be cutting back. A little. 🙂


    • I love real, but I’m allergic to them. I’m keeping all my Hallmark ornaments, even though I may not put up a Hallmark tree this year. I am also keeping the Barbie ornaments – I have enough to decorate a 6 ft. tree in Barbie. My main tree right now is done in gold, silver, copper and cream, which I plan to keep for many years.

      I absolutely love Christmas decorations. I’ve just lost the desire to do it all. I need a fairy to come in and do the whole house.


  2. Stuff is bad. It grows exponentially all by itself . The secret is to stuff the extra decorations and all of that miscellaneous “stuff” into boxes, tape them SHUT and park them in the garage. If you don’t need it in 30 days, you don’t need it at all. Don’t open them,just truck the boxes off to the Salvation Army or someplace, ANY place but back into the house. Problem solved. “:) Getting ready to decorate for Christmas is a good time to do it, any decorations that don’t go on the tree…OUT! That’s called painless downsizing and wise preparation for a big move. “:)


  3. Heather says:

    I’ve recently downsized from a three bedroom house with a full basement and a 1300 sq foot garage to a one bedroom apartment. The things I’m learning to live without. I don’t need china service and all the serving pieces for 16 people. I don’t need a separate deep freezer. I don’t really need half of the things I do have. Slowly but surely the purge is being made. I am of the generation that measures worth by the amount of possessions and I no longer subscribe to it. On a side note: Marilyn if you find that fairy to decorate your house would you send it my way.


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