Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Layoff before Christmas

Let me start with some background.  A month ago I was laid off from my job of 5 years.  Completely blindsided,  and didn't see it coming.  I have actively been looking for a replacement career and have realized that 10 years in the industry is not as valuable to companies as a 4 year degree.  Basically I am no longer qualified to do what I have been doing my whole professional life.

It is a terrible time for something like this,  because even though I am a hard core optimist,  watching all the TV commercials about last minute gifts,  and even reading the blogs I LOVE with the gift ideas (which are great by the way) is getting me a little depressed.

I have noticed though,  that being forced not to be able to buy gifts,  has caused us to be more creative,  and focus on the other aspects of this holiday season,  namely,  you know our savior being born.

Now that you know that,  I wanted to share for those of you who may also have little or no income this holiday season,  some of the things we are doing to make it work.

Step 1:

We started Christmas early.  Maybe not the presents,  but we asked around,  got a fake tree,  and had it up and decorated before Thanksgiving.  Taboo I know,  but extending the décor longer has been great.

Even though my wife swore we would never have a fake tree (we live in the pine tree state after all) it has allowed us to keep it up longer, where a real tree would look pretty sad by now.
Also since her DoTerra business has been going so well,  we have been spraying the tree with white fir oil,  and since it's all natural, it smells just like the real thing.
Since Christmas is in a week,  I am going to keep sharing how we are coping on almost no budget, keeping the kiddos entertained,  and staying as happy as possible during "the most wonderful time of the year"
Tonight we have a fun activity planned.  Tomorrow I will share the details and pictures with you.
Enjoy the season!


  1. That's awful! I can sympathize having spent long stretches unemployed or underemployed despite best efforts. There are lots of ways to keep kids entertained and have holiday fun without spending though. I'm sure you've seen Mr. Printables website, so many great diys to do with kids. And there's always free holiday choir concerts, tree lighting ceremonies, even just driving (or walking) around town and looking at all the lights is pretty magical when you're a kid. I don't know what's available in your area, but lots of craft fairs around here are having free activities for kids, and several places are doing free screenings of holiday movies, like The Grinch, etc. And I always like when people gift experiences rather than things, especially when it's something out of the ordinary and creative. You can just wrap gift certificates for future dates. And I have to say that there are some incredible sales out there right now, some of the best discounts I've seen in years, if you do want to have a few things for the kids to unwrap.

    I hope something great is just around the corner. If it's any consolation, a lot of companies wait to post job ads until after the holidays, so there will probably be a lot more openings come January. Best of luck! xo, Mary

  2. I am sorry to hear about your lay off. Mary has some great suggestions for holiday entertainment. Some of my fondest memories are watching movies like White Christmas and A Christmas Carol with my family. We'd drink hot chocolate and eat popcorn. We never had much money so 1 present was all we'd get and most often it wasn't a big one. I just posted a cake mix cookie recipe on my could make it a cookie bake day to involve the kids. With your creativity the kids can have a wonderful holiday...lots of meaning and less stuff.
    Hopefully you will be working again soon and too busy to do all the things you now have time for.

  3. Thank you for the positivity. I am definitely enjoying the time with the family, and will post today about some cheap activities we have been doing.

  4. I am so very sorry:( What a horrible thing to have happen to you right before Christmas. I know this may not make you feel better but always remember that you and your family are healthy {I really hope everyone is in good health} and you have each other. I hope something awesome comes along. You will get through this difficult time and enjoy the time hanging with the kiddos:)

  5. Thank you! Yes, everyone is healthy, and I couldn't be happier about that. We made it through Christmas, and it looks like I will be working with my wife more and more as job leads keep drying up. Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year to you and the family as well!