Here’s Why You Should Start Getting Ready for Christmas NOW

(Psst: The FTC wants me to remind you that this website contains affiliate links. That means if you make a purchase from a link you click on, I might receive a small commission. This does not increase the price you'll pay for that item nor does it decrease the awesomeness of the item. ~ Daisy)

Author of The Blackout Book and the online course Bloom Where You’re Planted

It’s probably no surprise to learn that what has been one of the strangest years in recent history could culminate in a very strange Christmas. Our nation is reeling from an economy that was crashed by COVID lockdowns, the potential second wave of a pandemic which will result in more economic damage, a broken supply chain, civil unrest, and a presidential election that will almost certainly be hotly contested, regardless of who “wins.”

As Selco likes to remind us, there’s not a whole lot we can do about “big circle” problems like the ones listed above. We need to focus on the “small circle” – things we can do something about, like our response to the crises listed above.

So let’s talk about the upcoming holiday season and the ways that this year could be very different.

Gifts may be difficult to acquire.

You need only to look at the bare spots in your local Target store to see that we could be looking at a shortage of desired gifts. Due to supply chain issues, stores are not getting anywhere near the same amount of merchandise they used to get. That means that once the Christmas rush begins, the things that ARE available could sell out quickly. And it also means that you may have a lot more trouble than usual ticking items off your family members’ Christmas lists.

Retailers are quickly trying to adapt to social distancing rules while still making a buck, which means even more sales than usual will take place online.


Peggy AlfordPayPal’s executive vice president of global sales, told PYMNTS that retailers “are trying to make themselves as ready as possible.”

“What we’re going to see is that because of how frictionless and easy digital commerce is to use and how safe it is, it becomes the new way of paying and the new way of shopping — especially as the pandemic continues and this behavior becomes habitual,” she said.

The bottom line: As the holiday shopping season rapidly approaches, expect things to be different this year.

“Now, most every brick-and-mortar retailer of note will close for Thanksgiving, possibly tipping the hat to a values reset around family,” PYMNTS reported. “In fact the values reset around several issues may be one of the defining characteristics of Holiday 2020.”

“It’s not hard to imagine Black Friday or even Cyber Monday using charity donations as consumer motivation to shop,” the report stated. “Especially since Black Friday pricing has been in effect pretty much since the beginning of April. Discounts have been an everyday occurrence instead of an event.” (source)

But problems with the US Postal Service could make ordering gifts to be delivered by mail a tricky endeavor. Delays began back in the summer and have continued well into October. (This article provides additional information about the slow-down of deliveries.) This could cause problems from two different angles:

  • First, will you receive your order on time?
  • Secondly, will the packages you mail out get to the recipients on time?

I strongly urge you to purchase any gifts you’re planning on buying early for the 2020 holiday season. This is not the year to be a last-minute shopper or you may end up purchasing a strange hodgepodge of the items nobody else wanted to buy.

We might also be looking at food shortages.

Many parts of the country are already experiencing some difficulty with the food supply chain as is evidenced in the comments section of this article. The supply has been compromised since last March and things improved a little, but most places are still not back to the pre-lockdown normal levels of inventory.

What’s more, grocery stores are already preparing for both the second wave and holiday shoppers with so-called “pandemic pallets” of goods that they expect to be in high demand…and despite these preparations, they’re still expecting shortages.

What is a pandemic pallet?

Grocery stores are stocking pallets with items they fear may run low in the coming months. Keeping these pallets stored in the warehouses, most of them are stocked with cleaning items and paper products, cold medicines, dry goods, and food staples like rice, pasta, and legumes – all the things that they ran out of quickly the last time around.  And, with the holidays right around the corner, many stores are stockpiling holiday foods like cranberry sauce.

The article went on to say that grocery stores are not as sparse as they were in the beginning of the pandemic. Nevertheless, shortages are still expected…

…Meat shortages were also the focus of this article that describes the effect the pandemic has had on meat supplies. (source)

Our advice? Get your supplies while you can. If you wait to buy your groceries for holiday meals at holiday time, you’ll have difficulty finding what you want. And consider adapting your holiday meal to focus more on shelf-stable ingredients. Here’s an example of a holiday dinner straight from the pantry. Our favorite vendor of long-term emergency food also has their supplies back in stock if you want to invest in some items that will be good on your shelves for years to come. Here are some of the long-term items I recommend.

Money could be a problem.

Millions of jobs that were deemed “temporary layoffs” have disappeared forever. Many businesses, small and large, have closed their doors. Competition is fierce for the few jobs that are currently available and we’re right on the cusp of a wave of evictions. Government assistance ended recently and the second round of stimulus payments has been held up in Congress.

It’s almost a certainty that a majority of families will be facing financial difficulties this holiday season. My recommendation is that you speak with your family now and set realistic expectations for gifts, travel, and get-togethers so that everyone is on the same page.  Focus on traditions instead of on gifts.

And for goodness sakes, if that stimulus money comes in “just in time for Christmas” I’d strongly advise you not to spend it frivolously. The urge will certainly be there but remember, we could all be dealing with money problems that are far more serious than a less spectacular Christmas than normal.

We could be in the midst of another lockdown.

While some parts of the country are gradually reopening, the numbers of those diagnosed with COVID are beginning to spike again. Regardless of whether or not you believe COVID is a physical threat, it’s pretty much irrefutable that it’s an economic threat. If the cases continue to increase we will be facing another lockdown.

What if that lockdown continues throughout the holiday season? It’s not a huge stretch of the imagination to think that large family gatherings, religious services, and Christmas parties will be banned.

Not only would this be potentially the final nail in the coffin of the travel industry, but it would also be incredibly detrimental to people psychologically. The idea of watching long-held holiday traditions crumble could cause a lot of mental stress, and those who are already dealing with the effects of isolation will be the hardest hit.

Then again, so many people are sick of the pandemic and the lockdowns that there’s a good chance they’ll simply refuse to cooperate. This could lead to legal problems as well as an increase in post-holiday COVID cases. Expect to see a lot of Christmas-shaming and people snitching on their neighbors for hosting family members.

Of course, if the numbers go up dramatically after the holidays, you can expect the lockdowns to expand to even more draconian levels than they already have. (Again – your opinion on COVID-19 notwithstanding, we’re talking about how the government’s interpretation of the numbers will affect you.)

Begin thinking now about how you intend to celebrate the holidays. Will you be relying on technology like Zoom to see our families and attend worship services? Are your family members geographically close enough that you can still get together? Just as with gifts, it’s important to set the expectations of your family early so that nobody is blindsided with the prospect of an empty table a week before Christmas.

What do you expect to see this holiday season?

Have you considered what the 2020 holiday season might look like? Are you dialing back your budget? Have you already begun Christmas shopping? Have you discussed plans with family members? Do you have a backup plan if your family get-together suddenly becomes illegal?

Let’s discuss it in the comments.

Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, globe-trotting blogger. She is the founder and publisher of three websites.  1) The Organic Prepper, which is about current events, preparedness, self-reliance, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, 2)  The Frugalite, a website with thrifty tips and solutions to help people get a handle on their personal finances without feeling deprived, and 3), an aggregate site where you can find links to all the most important news for those who wish to be prepared. She is widely republished across alternative media and  Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses. You can find her on FacebookPinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.

Leave a Reply

  • I’ll be going to my brother’s for Christmas here in endless lockdown CA to see him, my sister-in-law & nieces and I really don’t give a fuck about Gov Newssolini & his endless myriad of ever-changing lockdown rules. And I’m a prison nurse & I’m not taking the Vaccine either. They can fire me or kill me. I’d rather die by the bullet I can see incoming that the remote detonation of my DNA thanks to the mRNA vaccine’s remote kill switch.

    • @AnthonyJ … great comment. Agree with you 100%, particularly with respect to the mRNA kill shot. Who in their right mind would take that thing?

    • No way am I taking that vaccine either. Too soon, too dangerous and full of toxic chemicals.
      Evil Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s goal is depopulation.
      Stay safe.

    • Anthony, you are so right! Liking your attitude!

      I escaped Cali before the Wuhan flu but if I had not, my attitude about this rushed “vaccine” would be like yours.

      My family is me +1, but thinking about American local charities with Christian values more than anything else. Research those charities folks! (Read their websites – you’d be disappointed at what values they profess.)

      • I’ve had a compromised immune system since my late twenties, after surviving a childhood full of illness and hospitals. I suppose that makes me more at risk from the virus, but I’m not taking a vaccine that’s been rushed into production like this. And I’d be very suspicious of any order mandating that I “HAVE TO”.

        After ObozoCare, I’m 1000% DONE with mandates

    • Before the vaccine is made mandatory for anyone, I think there are three groups of people who should take it, and that means everyone in those groups. The doses should be picked at random from the production lines, then mixed, to make sure that those members get the real deal, not an inert fake. Those groups are as follows:

      • President Trump, his wife, his children and their spouses, his grand-children.

      • Doctor Fauci, his wife, their children and their spouses, his grand-children.

      • Bill Gates, his wife, their children and their spouses, his grand-children. He’s on the list because he’s pushing acceptance of the vaccine and because he has financial interest in its acceptance. Because he pushes vaccines so avidly on the rest of the world, he knows how safe they are, so he should have no problem taking all the vaccines he pushes in himself and in his extended family.

      Unless all of these people without exception publicly take the shot with doses taken randomly from the production lines, the vaccine should be made mandatory on nobody. I, for one, will refuse it.

      I wish I had a larger forum than a comment on someone else’s blog, to push this idea.

  • Good morning, Daisy.

    Well, since you asked for personal comments, here goes my long one….

    First of all, Id like to thank you for your diligent daily topics on prepping. They are appreciated. I have much respect for YOU and SELCO’S thoughts, experiences, and suggestions to us all. They do not go unnoticed or heeded.

    As I was walking through the garden section at walmart , they had their christmas trees in boxes in that area. I thought to myself, ” wow, they are going to be stuck with those. Those will not sell. Nobody is in a christmas spirit this year”. I know Im not. Im not in any holiday spiriit this year . My mind is on PREPPING. Thinking up ways to keep food cold, storing food in this small apartment. Trying to think what else me and my small family will need for the upcoming chaos, lockdowns, etc.

    There is so much talk about chaos that is coming. There is so much talk about the power grid going down. There is so much talk about China invading Taiwan. Guess who Taiwan’s bodyguard IS, yes, you guessed it, THE UNITED STATES. Then theres Armenia and Azerbaiijan at war. Its all unravelling around us, and others like myself, are PREPARING and researching the ways to survive all this coming, if we are able to.
    So, holiday celebrations are the farthest thing from my mind.

    • More discounts for everyone if they don’t sell through them all by Christmas. Usually 50 – 75% off after Christmas. I bought a really nice and realistic looking tree last year for $10.00 regular price was $160.00. Love a goof bargain but I do wish they made fake trees here in the USA.

      • They used to be made here, but the quality of the Chinese ones were shockingly superior, molded from real evergreens to look perfectly realistic, not cheap, twister strands of flat green plastic. It wasn’t just price this time.

    • Ditto to this mindset of preparing instead of buying fluffy gifts. I have been buying buckets of dry food for my kid for Christmas and birthdays. Wanting him to see what his priorities should be.
      I was convicted. , I think it was Jose, that I’ve been prepping for comfort- not survival. Doing things differently now.

  • Unfortunately, this year for a lot of Americans, Christmas is going to be something of a downer due to COVID19 job losses, or reduction in hours.
    For some, “downer” might not even come close to their reality.

    Every year, we watch A Charlie Brown Christmas. Previously, I have wondered at how poignant the message of what is the meaning of Christmas. In the end, it is not the materialism. But the spirit of Christmas.
    I think that might be even more relevant today than it was in 1965.

  • I started my Christmas shopping this week. When I calculated how many paychecks I had between now and Christmas, I figured I better get the ball rolling. I am sticking to a stricter budget this year. Plus, I will also be looking at getting more practical gifts that will serve the recipients for longer than a video game. We have also made changes in the last year to lessen the number of gifts given while still have a lot of fun. We have also done a large family exchange with a fun theme like the gifts have to fit in a sock or $10 at Dollar Tree. Something silly, but everyone laughs and loves their presents.

  • I’m almost done with my Christmas shopping, I’m planning on buying my Christmas food early and freezing what I can and making sure the rest is in the pantry, same for Thanksgiving except for fresh vegetables and dairy that will go bad.Im not taking a chance that we won’t have our holiday meals with everyone’s favorites.

  • Stop buying your kids and grandkids crappy toys from China.
    First of all, most kids already have too many toys.
    Secondly, you have to worry about unsafe and hazardous substances used in making those toys.
    On another note, stop up on toilet paper, cleaning products (if you can find them), shelf stable foods and snacks (no need for deprivation at this point).

  • Some holiday precautions worth considering

    Last year half of the Christmas cards snail-mailed to me never arrived. That was in a year of decreasing reliability of the US Post Office system where I would occasionally see mail addressed to a different state show up in my local PO Box. However as the percentage of relatives who have switched to emailing cards at Christmas time keeps rising at the same time that relatives who have refused to use computers (and therefore email as well) are dying off, I have never ever had a failure of delivery via email.

    Also, a few years ago just before Christmas the annual Porch Pirates Parade struck twice in the same day (morning and afternoon) at a relative’s house — which lost some shipped family heirlooms forever, including some irreplaceable items I had sent. My solutions ever since have been to 1) always ship with a signature required at a pickup location (since most delivery services can’t be bothered to spend the time to ring doorbells), and 2) to use a local shipping and receiving service for all packages whenever possible (in twenty years of using that solution, I’ve never ever had any failures to receive packages there). Let the porch pirates go suck eggs.

    Finally, the over-commercialization of Christmas has long been noticed by comedians and one brilliant satirist in particular — Stan Freberg back in 1958 in his “Green Christmas” song (easily accessible on YouTube via multiple uploads). It’s a not so subtle reminder that your decision to run up a Christmas shopping bill on credit cards that may take several months to pay off … may be overdoing it a bit, and maybe for some poor reasons.


    • @Lewis,
      There was an article from last year (IIRC), about people still had NOT paid off their CC from the previous Christmas. (Daisy might of also noted it)

      Practical gifts are a great idea. On my wish list are hand tools, books, and music. Things you can get real use, or enjoyment, today, tomorrow, or next year.

      • I don’t remember where exactly, but recently I read a post of gifts to give folks in this time of great need.
        Some were to:
        1) take them a box of groceries.
        2) another was to pay a bill that was behind.
        3) do a chore for them that they aren’t able to do for themselves.
        4) cook a meal and deliver to them.
        5) do some yard work for them.
        6) get a tune-up/oil change on their vehicle for them.
        7) buy them gas for auto.
        8) chop wood for their fireplace/wood stove for the colder months.
        9) babysit for the parents to get business taken care of/doctors appointments for themselves.
        10) read to the children/elderly.
        11) make a useful gift: such as a Basket with baby items for the expectant/new parents.
        12) diapers, wipes, formula, baby food. These items are so expensive. Even hand me downs would be much
        13) toilet paper, soap; hand sanitizer; disinfectant wipes; laundry and dish detergents, first aid items, etc. (Watch for
        sales and stock up so you’ll have on hand when needed)
        14) offer to run errands for others: grocery store; laundry mat; pick up dry cleaning; pick up prescriptions; clean the
        house; watch the kids while mom/dad takes a much needed bath/nap; walk the dog(s); house sit, etc.
        15) help with school work; special needs children; therapies, etc.
        16) send a care package to our military families; disabled Veterans; All the Front line workers.
        17) folks that have lost their homes to floods/fire: help replace much needed household items.
        18) send a card or make a phone call to cheer someone up; especially if they are alone.
        19) Pray with someone in need and just be a good listener/sounding board for them.
        20) give the gift of love. Always think of others of how God could use us to help them.

        The list is forever long with as many things as there are individual circumstances. There is always something we can do/give if we’re willing to think outside the box and stop looking so much at commercialism. Pray for those in need and for the ones that can help others to be directed in the right direction so we all can be blessed in unexpected ways. It’s the little things that matter most.

        Stay safe and May the Lord bless you real good as we remember the real reason for this season – Love of our Savior!
        Love & Prayers

  • For my grandchildren, nieces and nephews I give one ounce of silver for birthdays and Christmas. There are other gifts along the line, but that is what I consider an investment in their future

    I buy food gifts for the few people I buy for. My siblings and I don’t exchange gifts. I have a few decorations I put out, but no tree. It is just my husband and I. No one comes to visit, not even neighbors. Most people are afraid of my 9 big dogs and locked gate.

    I have plenty of food, but need to pick up a few luxury items. My goal is also more prepping. Buying more animal feed and start culling a few for the freezer (to include 5 male turkeys).

    No vaccines for me. I still don’t wear a mask shopping. I know what stores I can shop with the Texas Medical Exceptions. A few that I use to shop at are no longer a viable option since they refuse to recognized the Texas Governors medical exceptions on his Executive Orders and I refuse to wear a mask.

  • Have y’all thought about gifts directed at preparedness?
    If I buy it now and everything goes sideways before then well it’s still there and usable. How bout passing along that old gun you haven’t used in a bit?
    You are correct in that ordering will need to be accomplished early if possible. I’ve planned things out and already received the 2 items I thought would take the longest.
    I’ve been through some tough years and there were times when it was hard not to be able to give what I wanted to and sit and watch all the commercials but I assure you that those you truly love and reciprocate do not care.
    With my grandchildren, as I’ve explained to my kids, I’m never going to be the big spender nor win the contest between the other sets of grandparents (they literally got them a pony for which I am grateful for the experience of) however I am the one who is always there. I’m there when the parents are sick, I’m there when they need a break or have stuff to do, I’m there when emergencies arise and even at the hospital all night. I’m the one who pops in with small stuff, pulls them in their wagon, helps them read stories, teaches them important things like using a squirt gun, properly eating Oreos and burping loud in a frog ribbet for a laugh and kisses all the boo boos.
    Yeah I might not be the bestest and high dollarist at the gifts but when they see me they run to me and yell Papa and that’s all that matters.
    Y’all don’t get too wound up bout it all and the gift buying.

    • Matt—I gave each of my grown kids guns from my collection for B/days and Christmas gifts….my daughter got my CZ75bd and her husband got my S&W 586…my son got a Ruger 10/22 with a nice scope and naturally all came with plenty of ammo and cleaning kits…I hope they never need them except for fun…I always enjoy your comments and also1st Marine JarHead comments…stay safe and free…God Bless America

      • Wanna another kid? Lol
        Yeah last year the son and I built an AR for my son in law and daughter got a Ruger LCP. I’m looking at Buddy Heaters this year.
        Appreciate the compliment.

        • Last year, I splurged and got my kids each a Big Buddy. This year the kid (and his spouse) who is hardest to think of gifts for, I am thinking of asking an electrician how much it would cost to have a transfer switch put in at their house. They have a generator that will run off their tractor, but not enough money for a transfer switch.

          • Nonya,
            Check out interlockit. They make a product that is much much cheaper than a standard transfer switch it goes in the breaker box only requires room for the additional breaker for the genarator line. Worked great and is UL approved.
            We did have a licensed electrician install ours but if one is savey that way they are DIY ready. ( I’m ok with doing plumbing but not electricity)

    • Matt you’ve got it nailed. My parents give big gifts but never spend the time. My kids would prefer more hugs, stories, a push on the swings etc. Gifts are nice but memories last.
      For me I’ve told the family I’m making everyone Christmas treats in stockings this year. I’ve brought a second hand bike for my son and spray painted in Camo colours ,making a army canvas bike seat cover . And sewing some other gifts. We are sticking to budget and any extra is on food preps.

  • Just thinking: is “Black Friday” going to be changed as it could be considered racist now? Am I getting to hypersensitive to words?

  • I am planning pretty much nothing. This is not a time to do anything else. I told my sister, whom I never visit, the holidays play second fiddle to prepping for the next lockdown.
    Better to take this approach than be caught by surprise. There were lessons learned from the first lockdown.
    I expect the holidays to suck, big-time. A tsunami of bankruptcies and store closures. Maybe food riots, for all you know?

  • A good word. Aside from smoothing out the spending, I like to shop early for Christmas and take advantage of bargains. I’ve suggested to my family this year that we focus on practical gifts or homemade gifts. My adult children are getting prepping supplies.

    Regarding lockdowns, it seems they are inevitable. The governor from our state is ever hopeful she will receive an HHS secretary appointment in a Biden administration and has kept us locked down and masked up for months, continually scolding people for not following her edicts and pronouncing guilt on the citizens of the state. Today she will announce tighter restrictions and steeper fines for not adhering to them. It is a mystery to me why she is still popular amongst a majority of state citizens.

    I really feel for the businesses that have not been allowed to open at all- entertainment businesses (except those who agree with her political bent) and local restaurants, hotels, and bars that are barely hanging on at 25% occupancy restrictions. It’s a mess here and looks like it will get worse.

  • This year I’m giving practical gifts. Dad is getting solar lights. Mom will be getting books and gardening stuff. My husband and I live walking distance from my parents – we live on the family farm and Christmas is at my house this year. Our Governor, who I’m not a fan of, is keeping us locked down compared to neighboring states. I hope he’s voted out November 3rd.

    I’m also not taking the vaccine. Why risk it for something that has such a high recovery rate? Recently I was visiting someone at the local Medical Center who was having out-patient surgery. Both of his nurses said they were really worried the vaccine was going to be mandatory for them. Neither of them want to take it. Let’s hope it’s not going to be made mandatory because I think over half the population will refuse it.

  • Well, I’ve been on a diet for close to a year and intend to stay on it so my food budget will stay about level. I am not going anywhere for the holidays, but then again, that’s nothing new. Got the turkey pre-bought, yay for non gmo pasture raised turkeys! I don’t do extravagant presents and my tree’s already sitting in my closet ready to be brought out. So I’ll probably be fine provided I can keep my home safe from the mobs.

    I really feel for the little kids though, who are used to looking forward to the holidays, and I hope their parents get creative and decide to make their own fun. Around thanksgiving time, as a kid, we’d take walks around the neighborhood and collect leaves, then make a “leaf man” to hang on the door. We’d make our own holiday ornaments and decorations too. Not a lot of fancy stuff needed there, just some cheap construction paper, tape or glue, some pens. I grew up poor but that was a good thing, at least as far as learning to make my own fun.

  • We always get a real tree but back in August I bit the bullet and bought an artificial tree in case it will be hard to go out and get a real one–if they’re even available–who knows what it will be like? Christmas decorations are important to me and will bring comfort, especially this year. I’ve started gift shopping for my kids and family and a few friends and hope to be done in a few weeks. My goal is to be mostly finished up by Election Day, especially for things that need to get shipped. I’m thinking about making beeswax candles for family and giving them with simple candleholders. It’s practical and meaningful. Gift cards are nice and easy, but only for businesses that have a good likelihood of being up and running for awhile. I’m going to buy a nice pot roast soon and put it in the freezer for our special Christmas Eve dinner. We usually spend Christmas with just our family (me, spouse, and kids) so that won’t be different. No post-Christmas travel plans. It’s going to be a more simple Christmas this year which is just fine with me.

  • Homemade gifts are nice, and often cost a lot less than store bought, but if you don’t have time or the ability, thrift stores or dollar stores can give you more bang for your buck. An assortment of dollar store candles, scented soap, bath poof, nail polish and other implements give you the basics of a “home spa day” gift basket for under ten dollars. A pretty thrift store basket or metal tray gives it a luxe feel for another few dollars. Other gifts can be practical and prosaic items given with a humorous card, such as a package of toilet paper “given” by a politician, or a can of coffee “from” a college professor known for boring lectures.

  • What do I expect to see this holiday season? I really don’t know! I am shopping only for my grandchildren this year. I may get my adult children something small AND PREPPER RELATED! I was thinking of getting another small, quiet generator for me, but then I’ll have to fight the hubs about the purchase. Food-wise? I have already started buying what I need for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. Still looking for the meats for those dinners but some of the other stuff will have to be bought closer to those dates, like fresh collards and sweet potatoes. I can get them at the local farmer’s market closer to the dates. The rest is in my stash. I will be trying to donate to our local food bank some foods. When one has been blessed to continue to work during all this craziness, one must help others where they can. As far as having Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners together? I’m planning on it. If they come, they come. If they don’t? We’ll have lots of leftovers!

  • Its just the two of us so we never have a “big” holiday of any kind. Its very low key and quiet. No gifts, no huge wasteful meals. Just a normal day for us. We focus more on the “reason” for the holiday than all the commercialism that now goes with it. It works for us.

  • Because I’ve been so poor so much of my life, and unable to celebrate other than spiritually, now that my children are grown and financially far better off than I, I have no incentive to celebrate other than spiritually. After all, Christmas only points to the more important celebration of Easter. Therefore, no gifts, no trees, just celebratory messages.

    After all, isn’t the spiritual message the most important part?

    No way was I going to get into debt just for a box on the calendar.

  • I always love reading your blog. It relieves me to know I’m not the only one who feels this way. You always have great ideas. I’m struggling with back pain. I had the surgery where they put the two rods in my back from the top to the bottom almost exactly one year ago this month. I wanted to get it over with before all this happened. I’m still having a lot of pain because I still can’t stand up straight. Recently I’ve had a Stimulator put in, but it is very painful. I wanted to be ready to be physically able to do what I needed to do but it’s beginning to look like I won’t be able to. I’m not giving up. Whatever I can do next to get better I will. I’m weak right now but I plan on getting stronger. Thank you for your influence on getting me back to the way I was. Thanks, Marlissa

    • Hi, Marlissa. I had some surgery almost two years ago for a recurring back issue and I’m so glad I did. The thing that worked best for me was walking. First of all, it’s my favorite way to exercise. Secondly, you can be very flexible with your routine. Start with a quarter mile twice a day, then add another quarter after a couple of weeks, then another quarter a couple of weeks after that. Then once you are successfully doing that, bump only ONE of your quarters up to a half mile, and so on and so on. At some point, you’ll be walking hills and doing it with a backpack on. This could take 6 months to a year to achieve but every quarter mile you add, you’ve improved your fitness and well-being.

      Do NOT push yourself to the point of extreme discomfort. Just be gentle and patient and work in this exercise. It took me almost two years to get to the point where I could easily walk a five mile stretch with a backpack and I could go a lot further than that if I needed to. It’s SO hard, I know.

      If you can’t stand up straight, get a pedometer app on your phone, go to Walmart or a large grocery store, and push a cart around the store as described above.

  • As always, thanks for the heads up on thinking of holiday meals! I had started the Christmas gifts ball rolling with a shopping trip to HomeGoods this weekend. But-stupidly-I didn’t think of starting the stockup for the meals. I will be on the lookout for hams, turkeys, cranberries: as those are the big requirements. Truth be told, I prefer a baked chicken to a turkey, so I would be just as happy with a capon or two. And folks, don’t turn your nose up at canned sweet potatoes, cranberries, etc. It might be our only choices!!

  • “What do you expect to see this holiday season?”

    riots. looting. random shootings based on politics. arson attacks.

    merry christmas.

  • My siblings and I stopped exchanging gifts with each other decades ago. Each family buys useful items for their own children, and do not purchase gifts for nieces and nephews. Our parents are of an age where the only thing they want are warm socks, and the color of socks is alternated each year. One year is brown socks, the next year is blue, etc. This has cut way down on expenses and stress for all families.

  • Wow, reading the comments here today has really humbled me. It also makes me feel so blessed since the economy here in Texas is good. For my college age sons I’ll buy leather work boots that will last longer than the sneakers I typically buy them. Their cowboy boots are old, but they like them beat-up looking. Clothes are on sale right now really cheap. Guns, knives & ammo are always good. Maybe get the hubby a few thick cut T-Bone steaks & roast from the local butcher. My siblings & parents get food gift baskets. Ditto for our Pastor & wife. Planning on a nice dinner Christmas Eve with a roaring fire, holiday music and pretty tree decorated with our vintage family decorations. Will read from the bible the birth of Christ out loud around the fire. Church on Christmas Day. Already bought the ham. Will make sugar cookies then have the kids frost & decorate them. Socks, underwear & snacks in the stockings. God Bless y’all!

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