It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year…But This is NOT Your Stereotypical ‘Surviving the Holidays’ Blog

Written by Amber Fuller, LMFT, owner, and clinic director of Fuller Living

Imma make this blog short, sweet, and to the point. A couple years ago, my husband and I had decided to embark on a HUGE journey. We were up to our ears in DEBT. We felt so burdened and heavy and our hearts screamed for freedom. We wanted to so desperately pass on a legacy of financial freedom to our kids but we were in no shape to do so. I can now, ALMOST, say that we are debt free, after working very hard the last 4 years to pay off more than 300k. We’ve been busy and we are SO close…but I’m not here to talk about that…

This holiday season could be your best one yet. I know 2020 has been terrible. It’s been the most traumatic year in my 33 years of living. It’s been rough. By no means do I mean to negate the loss of hundreds of thousands of lives, businesses closed, and our country divided. I am here to say though, that you could really truly have a wonderful holiday season.

If I could go back and talk to the old Amber, the past Amber, the 2010ish Amber I’d whisper tenderly in her ear, “YOU DON’T NEED TO BUY ALL THAT CRAP FOR YOUR FAMILY FOR CHRISTMAS!”.I’d say to her sweet sweet soul, “Put down that $25 popcorn tin and go home. Run. Out of Target. As fast as you can!”. Now, I love me some Target, but in today’s day I spend my time walking around Target blissfully dreaming of when I can buy some of the stuff that I’ve been window shopping for since 2016. I walk around with an empty cart filled with my $50 bucks of groceries a week for my family. I’m here to tell you, no, I’m here to YELL AT YOU, “PUT DOWN THE BARBIE DREAM BOAT. NIECE NELLY DOESN’T NEED THAT FOR CHRISTMAS”. Give yourself the best Christmas gift of all and write out a budget that you incessantly plan to follow for the next year. One of the things that I’ve tried to encourage my clients about is how proud their parents may be of them if they choose to make this year, the year that they decide to find financial freedom. Also, practicing healthy boundaries during Christmas time means not going into debt to buy gifts for family.

If you’re left thinking, “Yeah, but Amber, that is SO TOTALLY LAME!”, trust me, I get it. I know that it seems lame and no fun, but debt is even more lame. One of the thoughts I think when I realize how lame I may be is I think about how much I will be able to give to my loved ones when my debt is completely paid off. I think about Christmas on a cruise ship that I’ve paid for all of my loved ones to go on. I think about the house that I will own that I host Thanksgiving in. I think about being able to buy my boys the top shelf item rather than the bottom shelf item. But most importantly, I think about how free I will feel. I think about how much more free I feel with how little of debt I have left. It truly is the best gift I’ve given myself.

Feel guilty or bad showing up to Christmas empty handed? This is where the mental health stuff comes in you. Your value isn’t found in the gifts you buy others or how charitable you are. You don’t become more deserving of good things because of giving to others. You already inherently have the same worth and value as Bill Gates and it’s not dependent at all on how much money you spend on gifts. It just is. You have value.You have worth. You belong. You were born with this. It’s yours. So take that statement and kiss your gift giving guilt goodbye with it.

This year, do yourself and everybody around you a favor. Have the best holiday season you can by wrapping financial freedom up in a big red bow. You know, the kind you see on cars in those Christmas gift car commercials *lol. who actually buys their loved one a car for Christmas?…and if it’s you, I hope you’ve gifted yourself financial freedom*