Merry Christmas. We are so excited to continue our positive momentum into the new year and hope that you and your family are ready to do the same. The Christmas season is a time for rest around the Homestead. We have some simple traditions that we enjoy but the focus is always on rest, recuperation, and planning for the future together.
We thought we should share some of these traditions and how they further our primary goals; simplicity, self-reliance, and financial independence.
We cut a tree. A Christmas tree does not need to be perfect. No tree is perfect just like no Christmas is perfect. Financial Independence is not furthered by spending hundreds of dollars on a synthetic tree nor spending $40-$50 dollars on a farmed tree (exceptions can be made for charity tree sales). Just drive out to the closest middle-of-nowhere near you and cut down a tree. It’s really as simple as that so don’t overthink it.
We spend several days cooking meals from scratch. Cooking with your family is a wonderful thing. There really is no replacement for preparing and sharing a meal. This year we have decided to only eat at home during the Christmas season. To help this along, we stocked up on fresh groceries; enough so we won’t have to leave the house for weeks 🙂 That sweet haul on the kitchen island? About $100 and will easily provide about 40 meals.
Frugal-Homestead-Pro-Tip: buy yourself a grade B turkey. Just as delicious as a fancier bird only with minor cosmetic differences (torn skin, missing wing, that kind of thing). The upshot is a delicious turkey that can be had for at least half the price.
We love the radio. It is too easy to stream Netflix 18 hours a day when hanging around the house. Lord knows we are guilty of this too (thanks Making a Murderer). To help avoid this, we consciously try to read and listen to the radio more. One of our hard-and-fast traditions is to listen to Alan Maitland read The Shepherd every Christmas eve before bed. Corny? Yep. Awesome? Absolutely.
We spend time defining mutual goals. This is our important Christmas tradition. The break we each set aside for each other allows us to review our past year and focus on what we want to accomplish in the future. Setting mutual goals ensures we are both in tune with what is really important as individuals and a family. It takes time to discuss and clearly define such goals so don’t rush. Write your goals down. Stick them to the fridge. Focus on them when you are confused about the absurdity of life (happens to us every 3 days or so).
That’s pretty much it. Our simple Christmas in a nutshell. What you won’t find are lots of needless gifts being exchanged, trashy/fire hazard decorations around the house, or credit-card-induced stress. On the homestead, Christmas is a time to rest and refocus on what is truly important. We hope our traditions can be a benefit to you and your family as well. Merry Christmas and all the best in 2017.