Well, it is less than 20 days before Christmas and I'm happy to report that I've already completed a lot of my shopping. I wish I could be more like those people who shop for Christmas throughout the year, finding bargains and tucking things back- but, I'm not. I'm more the type to wait (procrastinate) until a week or two before Christmas and then rush around getting things at the last minute. But this year has been better, due in part to a couple of things.
First, since I've been off work for the last three weeks, I've had plenty of time to plan and follow through on all of my "to do's", including Christmas shopping. I've done a little bit at a time, here and there, and it has been so nice to check things off the list and know that I still have 2-3 weeks left in which to finish the rest.
Second, my shopping hasn't been dependent on waiting on a particular paycheck to buy things, as it has been in the past. With our new budgeting system, we have a "gifts" fund that I can shop from, and not worry that I'm spending money that we might need for bills, etc. Because we put so much into each fund/category each month, the money is already there and is allocated just for gifts. It has made it a lot less stressful, having money set aside monthly for these once a year purchases like Christmas gifts.
This week I'm excited about going back to work; I worked half days last week, and started catching up on things there. I'm also looking forward to Jace's and my participation in our annual bike celebration at church this week. They asked for donations of $50 to put towards buying bikes, and then we will all gather on Tuesday night to help assemble the bikes with some kids from the local Boys and Girls Club. When we're done assembling the bikes, the kids each get to take one home. I think our church has done this for the past three years, but this is the first year that we've donated/participated in this project.
On the cooking front, I fixed a pot roast this weekend; it was the second time I've made one. Substituted onion soup mix for the brown gravy mix that I used the first time I made it, and it was much better (less salty) this time. We had roast and mashed potatoes for dinner last night, and polished off the remainder today. Great comfort food on a cold and rainy December day!