Hey everyone! This week flew by, mostly because it has felt like the weekend since Wednesday.
We decided to celebrate Thanksgiving early, as my mom is working pretty much every day next week. R took off Thursday and Friday, and we’ve been here since Wednesday night.
Before we go on, I have to apologize to you all. I just wrote up the entire post, went to save, and received an error from WordPress. My stomach sunk upon realizing the entire post was gone.
As I’m all about being transparent, I don’t really have the energy to completely re-write the post, so forgive me for running through things rather quickly. =( I absolutely hate when technology doesn’t cooperate!!
Not surprisingly, this week is focused on being grateful for family.
Every Thursday, my mom and her neighbor play Bingo at a nearby restaurant. It doesn’t cost anything except a meal to play (and I think you only need to spend $5).
The jackpot is $350, so I figured I would tag along and play with them. R came, too, and the neighbor’s sister was visiting, so that made 5 of us!
I have never played Bingo for money before, and it’s been a really long time since I played at all. It was fun, even though none of us won! I kind of wish I was around here on Thursdays now.
My mom had won a $25 gift card the previous week, so we mostly ate for free, which was great.
By the way, my mom (being the primary money manager) has been keeping on top of her budget! I’m really proud of her. She should end up coming in with some money leftover this month, which she will be putting toward debt.
We celebrated Thanksgiving on Thursday with a small chicken dinner. We couldn’t find a turkey small enough for the 4 of us, and none of us really cared what we ate!
I had mentioned lasagna as part of the weekend celebration, and my mom agreed to make it. We ate that tonight, and it was delicious!
Small, low-key gatherings are always nice. Sometimes when you have too many people in the kitchen, things can get hectic. With just the 4 of us, it wasn’t necessary to go all out with the trimmings, and I kind of prefer it that way.
Yes, I know, I’m weird! I’ve never looked forward to Thanksgiving because of the food; I just looked forward to spending time with my family, and making plans for Christmas. Speaking of which …
My parents threw out our old Christmas tree when they moved, as it didn’t fit on the moving truck. I would have taken it, except that a 7.5′ tree wasn’t going to fit in our basement apartment!
Since they were visiting us in NY last year, they decided not to bother with one…so they needed one this year!
We went up to Target yesterday to see what their selection looked like. My parents had already been to a few stores and weren’t impressed with the choices.
Thankfully, we ended up finding one, and it was on sale for $51! Not too bad, especially considering they’ll probably be using it for all future Christmases.
I should probably mention (fun fact), I’m allergic to actual Christmas trees, so that’s why we go the fake route.
I don’t recall this at all, but my dad said the second they found out, he tossed the real Christmas tree we had over the deck of our old house. Apparently, I ended up in the hospital as I had such a severe reaction, and he wanted nothing to do with it after that.
Anyway, I’m grateful we found one, and that we can decorate together again. Last year wasn’t the same without a tree!
Earlier today, 40 vendors came to my parents’ community for a craft fair. My mom and I were hoping to find a few frugal gifts for everyone back home.
We didn’t find a whole bunch (mostly because we had to keep in mind we had to ship items, and some were too delicate or bulky), but we found some really unique pieces of jewelry for 2 family members, so that takes care of them!
R and I also found a really neat looking cutting board, which my parents bought for us. How can a cutting board be neat?
Well, it’s made out of different types of wood, and it looks similar to this. R is really interested in wood being that he works with it at his job a lot. One of my dad’s favorite hobbies is also woodworking, so I’m slightly interested in it!
Suffice to say, it caught our eye, and it’s nice to be able to support someone instead of a store. Plus, our old cutting board broke a month ago!
While we were there, I observed that most of the people selling things were older. I was impressed with how they had turned their hobbies into a side hustle.
I even overheard one of them claiming you need some sort of activity in retirement to devote your time to. Rock on, senior citizens!
Overall, it was inspiring to see the ideas some people came up with. Not all of the items being sold were overly complicated to make, and some of them didn’t take much artistic talent at all, but people were clearly willing to pay.
Working from Home
Lastly, I am being grateful that I work from home, as these extended weekend trips wouldn’t be possible otherwise. It’s hard enough to coordinate days off with one person working, let alone two!
I am also grateful that R’s job is so flexible. He’s already taken the day after Christmas and the following Monday off, so we’ll be able to enjoy time with family then, too.
If you were reading this time last year, you might remember that R and I made the questionable/crazy decision to drive down here and visit. We spent 14 hours on the road going back home. I’m SO glad we’re a lot closer now!
Tune in next week for a special 52nd edition, complete with a lot of introspection, reminiscing, and lots of gratitude.
(And if you missed it, I featured a great guest post by XY Planning partner and owner of Bespoke Wealth Management LLC, Laurel Hardy. She gave some great advice on paying off student loans and saving. I am always grateful for guest posts!)
What are you being grateful for this week? What’s your favorite part of Thanksgiving?