As the clock approaches 8pm on Thanksgiving Day, I am settling into the evening. Soon the kids will be tucked into bed, the fireplace will be lit, and I'll find a cup of tea. No, this self-declared frugal person will in no way take part in the frenzy known as Black Friday. To me there is a distinction between frugal living and shopping for a bargain. I suspect our day was not typical in America.
Our holiday was very low key this year. We opted out of the usually 5k run we normally do. Participating would have cost $60, driving 20 minutes each way, prodding the children to hurry to get ready, and to be surrounded by thousands of other runners. One day we'll go again, but not this year. Instead we had a late breakfast and I prepared most of the veggies for our evening meal, and then we set out on foot for a walk. The destination was about a mile away, the office of one of my husband's clients. We needed to retrieve an important phone number he had left at his desk. Even though we were in the heart of Madison, our short walk allowed us to view horses grazing and a hawk hunting. On the return trip we stopped at the park to let the kids burn off some energy. Once home we put the turkey in the oven, and then tackled moving the Fall outdoor decorations to the compost bin. In went the corn, straw bales, and various pumpkins. They provided us with fall cheer, and will continue giving to us as they decompose for use next Spring in our flower beds.
The dinner was simple, served at 5:30, my mom the only guest at the table. Turkey and a wide variety of veggies, followed up with my mom's apple pie and my pumpkin bread made for a lovely meal. Our holiday was so low key that I was able to stay in yoga pants, a running shirt, and fleece all day. No fancy day for us, but a very low stress and frugal day.
Now that Thanksgiving is winding down, the frenzy of Christmas will fall upon many. Shopping to excess. Charging this and that. Rushing here and there. Sending holiday cards out of a sense of obligation. But not us. No, not this year. Our frugal approach to the holiday will hopefully keep it more in line with Thanksgiving. Good food, time outside, and quality family time. All things we need and love. And keeping the stress low is a priority for us. That phone number we went to retrieve was for a cardiologist that my father-in-law is working with. The day after the election he was hospitalized. A-fib and a blood clot were found, and the this week the doctor stated that signs of congestive heart failure are apparent. Life swoops up and reminds us how short it can be. How important your health is, time with family, appreciating the simple beauty of the world. And our frugal approach to life helps us keep that focus. Frugal, focusing on efficient use of your time and money, is good not only for your wallet, but the earth, and most likely your heart.
Thanks for reading, and wishing you all the best as you enter into the end of the year celebrations. I'll leave you with a short saying, one we picked up at Waldorf, which we cay prior to our evening meal.
For trees so tall and skies so blue,
For family, friends and food,
We give thanks.