Updated on 12.20.11

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Multi-Christmas Edition

Trent Hamm

My family and I often load up the few days before and the week after Christmas with a lot of visits with extended family, either at our home or theirs. This often means some careful choreography.

Part of the challenge is that we like to celebrate a full Christmas day with just the five of us, but actually doing that on Christmas Day doesn’t always work out.

Our solution is that our immediate family celebrates Christmas on a day that’s convenient in relation to the travel. We exchange all of our gifts for each other, play games, and often watch a Christmas movie (or a new movie received as a gift).

This way, if we need to travel on Christmas Day or have a bunch of family over, we still get to enjoy that family Christmas morning, with the children running into our rooms at five in the morning waking us up and so on, at our own house.

For us, that day is tomorrow.

(And, yes, Santa finds our children wherever they’re at on Christmas Day and fills their stockings with goodies.)

Five Ways to Save Money in Your First Job This is a great collection of tactics for any new graduate. (@ humble savers)

25 Ways to Make This the Best Christmas Season Ever We already incorporate a lot of these into our family traditions. (@ pick the brain)

Recovering from Divorce A divorce can be a real mess. Marriage is something to enter into with care, because if you do it without really knowing who you’re marrying, you’ve got a good chance of entering into an unhappy arrangement. (@ get rich slowly)

Are You Celebrating Christmas with Your Kids in January? This reminds me of my mother-in-law’s extended family. They celebrated their extended family Christmas in mid-November, which meant that it was out of the way before Christmas madness. (@ money ning)

The Economics of Christmas Lights I posted this last year, but few articles have made me re-think where I live more than this one. (@ seth godin)

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  1. Johanna says:

    Five ways to save money in your first job – Number 1: Start saving. Genius.

  2. valleycat1 says:

    Johanna #1 – unfortunately for many people that isn’t obvious, or it’s something one puts off for when you get the first raise or are making more money.

  3. valleycat1 says:

    When our family began having multiple Christmas celebrations, some were of necessity held after Christmas Day. Sometimes we met family members at the airport on or the day after the 25th. It was very sad to me that the large majority of other travelers had already lost their Christmas spirit (good cheer, good humor, smiles all around, etc), when ours was still going strong. For me, spreading the celebrations out over a week or more has really emphasized that the Christmas attitude isn’t just about how you feel or act on one specific day.

  4. Johanna says:

    I’ve often wondered why more people don’t celebrate holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas a week early or a week late. The sticking point would be arranging the time off for everyone, I guess, but if you can do that, it would make the travel a whole lot easier and cheaper.

  5. Liz says:

    My college roommates and I always celebrated Martin Luther Kingmas (yes, we called it that). We had a three-day weekend ridiculously early in the semester (usually the second week of classes), so we’d cook an elaborate meal and have a Secret Santa. We always drew the Secret Santa names in November so we could keep an eye out for a good, inexpensive gift. Whoever was hosting the dinner would have the tree up, and we’d all take the leftover cookies, fruitcake, etc. from our newly dieting parents to add to the party.
    Too bad it’s not a three-day weekend for any of us anymore — we work places where you’re lucky to get Federal holidays off…

  6. Evita says:

    Johanna: some do. In our extended families, this year was such a nightmare of coordination that hubby and me decided to celebrate Christmas with the (grown-up) kids and their families in the middle of January. We’ll have the youngest with us at our home at Christmas and that’s it!

  7. Misha says:

    For the past 10 years, to accommodate scheduling of out-of-town guests, my family’s been celebrating Christmas a week early or a week late.

  8. deRuiter says:

    Russian Orthodox Christmas IS in January. Think of the bargain shopping for a Christmas tree and Christmas wrapped candies and cookies! When I see the discarded Christmas trees start to hit the curb Dec. 26. I entertain the idea that next year I ought to celebrate Christmas with the Russian Orthodox date in January, and just pick up one of the disacarded trees and decorate it for my “new” Christmas date. Actually I once did that when I was hosting a big holiday party on the weekend between Christmas and New Year’s, and one large room looked a little bare. I scooped up a discarded Christmas tree, decorated it, everyone thought it was gorgeous and the room looked elegant, and pitched the tree out the day after Twelfth Night. It was still in pretty decent shape!
    This year there was a terrible wind storm late Autumn. Many trees fell and were cut into smaller pieces and put out in cans for recycling. I picked up a whole truck load of pine and fir branches on the curb, gorgeous deep green, FRESH branches, and made seven grave blankets, and two huge sprays for the doors for the house, plus some greens to put around the wood cutout Christmas ornaments on the lawn to camouflage the spot lights. The big red velvet bows and other trim for the grave blankets and wreaths were bought for a couple of dollars at a summer yard sale. I’m pleased with my nice decorations when I see grave blankets selling for $29.99/$50., and door wreaths for $10/$30 (plus tax!) Being thrifty doesn’t mean doing without, it means being creative and using what is free or cheap, recycling in many cases, good for the wallet, good for the environment, and good for the balance of trade.

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