NST December 2023 The Most Wonderful Time Of the Year?

NST December 2023 The Most Wonderful Time Of the Year?

Welcome to the final NST challenge of 2023.  The Ninja Saving Turtles get together each month to fight debt or build up savings (for things like new roofs which had to wait whilst we were getting out of debt). We use a variety  of techniques (it can be bewildering sometimes). We  always support each other, celebrate any wins and commiserate when bad things happen.

So Christmas (Winter Solstice/  Yule, Diwali/ Hanukkah as appropriate) places extra demands on us -  gifting, visitors or visiting, food, multiple  charities and good causes asking for our money., school discos, Church fairs but we need to manage these or at least have a plan to get back on track afterwards (if  a close relative is in hospital and may not live, you spend whatever you need to and work it out later)

The Christmas Myth
 Most elements of the 'Christian Festival' were stolen wholesale from earlier religions, it's always been commercial and the snowy Dickensian scenes were caused by the eruption of Krakatoa.
The biggest lie of all is the Adverts.  Life isn't like that,. Awkward, rude and ungrateful or downright nasty relatives aren't going to change so limit your exposure. For anyone who is already under pressure - poor, cold, hungry, lonely, sick or dying, homeless - Christmas increases the pressure. Suicide and divorce rates go up,  some people will lose a loved one and for others it's the anniversary of the loss. So be aware and be kind and if it's you, feel free to take time out if everything gets too  much (please seek help if you need it)

Well that's the cynical and grumpy bit out of the way, here is

The Challenge
T   The Challenge runs throughout December from the 1st to 31st
H   Help - you should not take on all the responsibility. Ask for help, give clear requests, say please and thank you
E    Empathy - be kind, be sensitive, do what you can (requests for winter clothes, food, household goods, specific needs of disaster zones)

M   Magic - make it for your children, experience it yourself
O    Outings and Events need to be budgeted for. If a visit to the Panto is part of your festivities work out how to afford it - local community group offering rather than the Opera House. Decline work's do's unless they're compulsory or you enjoy them (might be for next year now). Don't drink if you don't like it or are on medication
S   Spend Free Days -aim for 15, you should get some in the last week of the year (if you're clever you'll have enough 'leftovers' to see you through January
T   Tackle DEBT or build SAVINGS as a priority. Live on what is left

W   Work. Take your own lunch from home and avoid vending machines, chain coffee shops (unless this a budget place for a gift handover or support for a friend in need)
O    Only buy food that you and your family love (exceptions allowed for elderly visitors who love sprouts/ Christmas pud/  bread sauce). 
N   This month is NOT just about Christmas. Keep feasting to special days and stick to healthy eating the rest of the time
D   Donate £10 to a food bank or homeless charity. Other donations to causes you normally support (a good place for cards or presents too, many have ethical standards)
E   Exercise according to your ability. Walking and being outside are good for MH too
R   Reading, music and candles are my essentials - build in 'me time'
F    FOOD plan ahead,  reduce food waste, parsnips and other veg can be prepped and frozen, cakes can be baked and frozen until it's time to decorate (handy for school/ Church fairs/ bulk catering). Get out of Jail Free - I think it's perfectly acceptable to 'cheat' - You do not need to  make everything from scratch, in some cases it  would be more expensive to  do so.
U   You need to set all  budgets before the start of the month and stick to them. Food, travel, entertainment (don't forget school holidays), personal spending.
L   Look at where you can cut back and make notes for next year

T   Traditions - start your own (fun and no or low cost). Walk around looking at the lights
I    Illness - self-inflicted, the usual bugs, exhaustion. Time to restock the medicine cabinet with common remedies and supplies for bike/ skateboard and climbing injuries. Note emergency chemist rota and a number for social services
M   Plan for the whole MONTH and think about next year too
E    Even the smallest children can handle some tasks - let them

O   One good deed is all that I require. Do  more if it makes you feel good
F    Five achievements done during the year, even if it's  only surviving

T    Think ahead -it always saves time and money. 
H   Habits continue or review  those you started last month, add an extra one
E   Everyone has leftovers - use them wisely

Y    You can CHOOSE what type of Christmas you have.  Decide,  make a plan 
E     Everyone deserves love
A    Always practice gratitude
R    Refurbished An addition to our 5 'Rs'. Continue to  reduce the clutter 



  • grandmanerd
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