I took down our Christmas tree the other day (yes, I wait until January to do so) and got to thinking about traditions. As a kid, my brother and I would beg and beg to be allowed to put up our tree, but we were never allowed to do so until December 15th. Finally my dad would get it down from the attic. At that point we would eagerly put it up, spending the day decorating it with my mom and talking about each ornament. We’d discuss which were our favorites, and where on the tree they should go. So in my mind, that’s how putting up the tree should be done. It should be eagerly anticipated, and then put up as a family.
Except that’s not how it is. My husband probably wouldn’t put up a tree at all if it was just him, and my son isn’t really interested except for the very last step where we ceremoniously THROW the last three ornaments on. (My husband and son do put the outdoor lights up though, which I’m happy about.)
This used to bother me, and I spent time trying to make things be the way they where when I was a kid. Finally this year it dawned on me — hey, things aren’t that way. So why not just accept it? I got the tree put up myself (except for those last three ornaments which we had fun throwing on) when no one was home, and everyone was happy. Including me, surprisingly. I actually found a much easier way to do it, with no stress and less mess. Taking down the tree turned out to be equally easy.
The point of all this is that sometimes it pays to take a step back and look at how we do things. If you’re struggling with your finances or there’s a lot of stress surrounding money, take a step back and see if you can make some simple changes that will make your entire situation better. Money management doesn’t have to be done a certain way, even if that’s the way your family always did it. There’s no one way to do things, and there may even be an easier way if you just let go and consider the possibilities.