Avoid the Griswold Family Christmas

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We’ve already seen the commercials on television, and encountered the displays in our favorite stores. Halloween is barely in the rear-view mirror, and we’re halfway into month one of the “Holiday Season.” It seems like each year the season gets a bit longer, and a bit more pressure is added to make this year “perfect.”

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Clark Griswold once attempted to make the perfect family Christmas, and we all remember how that ended, don’t we? He spent the entire movie putting in massive effort to assure that everyone would have a Holiday to remember, and nothing went right for him. While it’s our favorite Holiday Movie, none of us want a Christmas like that in our lives. Clark was stressed out about buying an expensive gift he couldn’t afford, cutting down the perfect tree, and rigging up the lights to illuminate the neighborhood. All that worry just left him with a burnt tree, burn chair, burnt sled, burnt turkey, and a burnt cat.

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Few of us remember the gifts we received as children though, and it’s the time spent with family that truly makes for the best memories. My family has a tradition of eating pizza on Christmas eve, and once ended up dining in a 7-11 parking lot on the way to my Grandfather’s house on Christmas Day, because it was the only place open. Things aren’t going to go perfect, so there is no need to stress yourself out trying to make them so, or spending more money than you have come holiday season. None of us want to have the Griswold Family Christmas, but sometimes we make the same mistakes Clark did.

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This season, SunTrust Bank has challenged us to make our holiday meaningful within our means. This means letting go of some things that we maybe can’t afford, or stress us out too much. My wife and I have actually been doing just that for the last few years, and we’re going to continue with our scaled back holiday, which we have found to be much more enjoyable:

  1. Smaller Christmas Tree, and less house decorations.
  2. No gifts to each other, instead we go on a trip together.
  3. Do things with family, primarily things that are free in the community.

e40e7b44 689f 11e4 9368 22000afd2dc7How about you? What could you do to make your holiday meaningful within your means this year? Check out this Holiday budget spreadsheet from SunTrust to help avoid the “holiday hangover” and massive credit card bills in January.

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At SunTrust Bank their purpose is lighting the way to financial well-being. They want to help you reduce holiday stress through tools, advice, and inspiration that encourages you to make your holidays meaningful by spending within your means and focusing on meaningful experiences.

To get started visit suntrust.com/holiday

Meaningful spending made easy with a budgeting tool to help you make a plan and stay on track with your holiday spending. Download here.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of SunTrust. The opinions and text are all mine.