When I reflect on my childhood I have the fondest memories of the holidays. Growing up, I lived two blocks away from my grandparents and they were a huge part of my life. I almost saw them daily and they dedicated a lot of time to me. So, the holidays were naturally centered around them. My grandparents (especially my grandmother) always went that extra step when preparing for the holidays. Not only did she make the holidays much more special, but it was her way to spend even more time with me while creating special memories.
My grandparents did all holidays well, but our Christmas tradition was always my favorite. My grandmother and I used to spend hours in the kitchen prior to the holidays creating her ‘famous’ holiday cookies. She didn’t just have one, but about 5 different recipes! She made me feel special by saying I was the only one who had the recipe and it was our little secret. Once Christmas day came, I opened my presents at home and then rushed over to my grandparents house where all my extended family would also be. There was always lots of laughter with someone being named the gift ‘Elf’ each year!
I have tried to retain that holiday spirit my grandparents taught me when celebrating festive occasions with my own family. This desire to recreate meaningful memories is important, but like a lot of people I have gotten worked up about making everything just perfect. I tend to be a perfectionist when it comes to planning my family’s annual Christmas Eve party. Being a perfectionist during the holiday season can lead to overspending! I’m definitely guilty of doing this and in the end overspending leads to me to be overstressed when the holidays are over.
That’s why I’m taking SunTrust Bank‘s Meaningful within Your Means challenge. It requires you to try or do something differently this year so that you can avoid a case of the “overs-” and create lasting meaningful memories of the holidays. There are 3 “areas” of this challenge.
1. YOU – For the holidays to be memorable, you have to be happy. That means eliminating rituals that stress you out during the holidays.
I’m challenging myself to stop being be a perfectionist when planning my Christmas Eve party. In return, I will not overspend and get overstressed. Meaningful memories will still be created and I will get to spend even more joyous time with my family.
I will also be using SunTrust Bank‘s holiday planning guide and budget planning spreadsheet to make sure I account for all those expenses that sneak up through the holiday season. Memories don’t have to cost money! Spending smarter will remove that overstressed feeling when I look at my bank account in January!
2. TOGETHER – Being with family and friends is what the holidays are all about!
My goal is to do something special with my family each week in the month of December. This should be free and simple! Some of the best memories you can create are just enjoying a cup of cocoa at home or taking a family walk to look at the holiday decorations around the block.
3. GIVE – Giving is so important. With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season it can be easy to forget to give back, but it should be on the top of everyone’s list. It teaches children to appreciate what they have and the importance of giving to others. Make a TOGETHER activity centered around giving back to members of your community.
What part of the holidays stress you and what self-appointed challenges can help you have a meaningful within your means holiday season?
At SunTrust Bank their purpose is lighting the way to financial well-being. They want to help you reduce holiday stress through tools, advice, and inspiration that encourages you to make your holidays meaningful by spending within your means and focusing on meaningful experiences.
To get started visit suntrust.com/holiday
Meaningful spending made easy with a budgeting tool to help you make a plan and stay on track with your holiday spending. Download here.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of SunTrust. The opinions and text are all mine.