Saving Christmas Takes On A New Meaning When You Give Back
There will be no teacher Christmas gifts this year but something a bit more magical in its place.
When we got word that our son’s teachers wanted to know if parents would be interested in sponsoring a family for Christmas we were thrilled.
The catch was that the teachers did not want parents to buy them gifts for Christmas if they were participating in the sponsorship.
As parents learning the elementary school system with a 4-year-old in junior kindergarten we thought to buy teacher Christmas gifts was the norm.
It turns out this is not true and many teachers turn to the parents to help spread Christmas cheer to low-income families in need.
What a wonderful idea we thought because we were already in the process of helping a family in our network of friends who are currently living in a shelter.
Teachers Christmas Gifts are not mandatory
Buying teachers Christmas gifts or gifts for caregivers, daycare providers, newspaper carriers or your boss is NOT mandatory or written in stone as one would say.
If you can afford to do so and would like to then that choice is up to you and you should not feel as if you must especially if your Christmas budget is already tight.
Sponsor a family this Christmas
Last week I wrote about how Mrs. CBB and I set aside $35 each month for our Christmas Reserve fund.
That amounts to $420 each year that we have for food above our $300 monthly grocery budget.
The reason behind our 2018 Christmas Reserve Fund was that we were spending far too much on food at Christmas.
This year tragedy hit our family with the loss of my father-in-law which means Christmas will be far different and we won’t be needing all of the money we saved for food.
What we’ve decided to do with the extra money is spoto nsor a family for Christmas and participate in the school class sponsorship program.
This also means that instead of lowering our Christmas Reserve fund for 2019 we will split it.
Half of the $420 will go towards our Christmas reserve and the other $200 will be to sponsor a family for Christmas.
This will also teach our son how good it feels to give back to the community. We hope he passes this important lesson on when he has a family of his own.
How to sponsor a family for Christmas
The teachers arranged the Christmas family sponsorship part of the program with community organizers.
You may have to find local organizations who can help you to do the same.
To be honest this time of year there are no shortages of organizations looking for help and volunteers.
The class was paired with a family and participating parents were asked instead of buying them gifts to donate items in need for the class sponsorship.
- Grocery Gift Cards
- General Gift Cards to Walmart, Old Navy, Thrift Stores, Mall shops
- Children’s Gifts such as Santa toys, winter clothes, hats, mitts etc.
- Adult gifts including clothing and household items
This worked out great for us since we were going to buy our son’s teacher a $20 gift card for Christmas.
We were requested not to wrap the gifts so the teachers could see what was donated and then proceed from there as they had the family information.
Overall, we feel this will be a positive experience for our son and that it brings joy to others who might not be as fortunate.
Discussion: Do you buy a gift for your teacher, bus driver, daycare provider for Christmas?
Drop me a comment below and I’ll be sure to respond to you.
CBB Home and Blog Update
The past two weeks have been very busy in the CBB house as we’ve all had the stomach flu pass through us (no pun intended) which knocked us out for about 5 days.
With the end of the year winding down work has been in chaos mode as we try to get ready for end of the season and the new year.
I will be off for two weeks for the holidays and I’d rather not do any work at home if I can avoid it so I’ve been staying late at work to get things done.
Other than that Mrs. CBB has been doing some online Christmas shopping and we’ve been getting ready for our son to be in a Christmas play at school.
In the upcoming two weeks, Mrs. CBB and I will be locking down the budget and finances for 2018 and working on our 2019 monthly budget.
I can already forecast increases in our grocery budget and perhaps clothing allowance.
Have a great two weeks everyone! See you one last time before Christmas begins for The Saturday Weekend Review.
Finance Canada Read of the Week
One of the biggest talks in Canada for the budget came in the name of a 3.5% grocery bill increase for 2019.
It’s not so shocking as food prices tend to increase in the new year as a right of passage into what seems to be pulling money out of thin air for consumers.
Vegetable prices are projected to rise by 4-6 per cent, according to the Canada Food Price Report for 2019
There comes a point where skimping on groceries means you don’t get something for a week or two because you want or need something else such as grocery staples.
I don’t know who created these gorgeous Italian Cucidadi fig cookies but this recipe seems simple enough to make.
The only pitfall would be to find the figs on sale which I would do before making this as they can get costly.
You could always sub the figs for dates and make a date square mixture instead.
Mr.CBB’s Motivational Corner
The holidays can be busy but step back and think about how you can make a difference to someone else.
Saturday Search Term Giggles
Every week I get tens of thousands of people who visit Canadian Budget Binder because they searched online and found my blog. (SIC) means I’ve copied the text exactly and it has spelling errors.
Most times funny, Sometimes serious.
- Grocery Bag Foodie- I’m not sure if this is someone who likes to eat and bag groceries or a foodie who likes grocery bags.
- Is $400 enough money for groceries for a student?– That depends if you are eating them all in a day..
- Is Bulk Barn Cheaper- That depends on what you are comparing prices too.
- Challenging desserts- Nope, you won’t find those here as I’m all about easy and frugal.
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