Pre-Holiday Links and Resources -Advent 2018 and Christmas

With Thanksgiving this week, Advent is following quickly behind it!

But besides the busy preparation for Christmas, there are a lot of things we can do to really observe the season of Advent! Over the years I have collected links and resources for the holidays that I thought would help me and my family prepare our hearts and spirits to celebrate the birth of Baby Jesus.  I haven't done everything on this list.  Some of it is a wish list, but there was something in every link that I thought was worthwhile.

Perhaps first on the list is actually getting our homes ready for the holidays:
Holiday Grand Plan or join their Yahoo Group E-mail List Declutter and Clean!
Also DeClutter and Organize on Facebook. 

and get your planner ready~  Advent and Christmas Planner from Catholic Icing or Advent Planner from Wildflower and Marbles. 

 This content uses referral links. Read our disclosure policy for more info. This means if you make a purchase, I get a little change to keep up my Diet Coke habit.…

Redistributing my Wealth

I had a little chuckle today listening to the news. It appears that the August 2 deadline for raising the debt ceiling is "soft." That means that the crap won't necessarily hit the fan that day - in fact it might not hit until August 10th! The reason for that is that some new taxes have been collected - and some of them were from me!

It turns out that despite my best efforts to be accurate in doing my tax returns the year my mom passed away, I missed a few of the guidelines and Turbo Tax didn't alert me! So I was short by a few thousand dollars! That was a painful discovery but luckily I had saved a lot of that money. Back then I decided I needed some money management guidance so I consulted a professional who was mortified that we didn't have any money saved for retirement! So Mr. Pete and I (being older, wiser and a bit more seasoned) started retirement accounts! The money is in there to take care of us when we are old and gray and not wanting to burden our children or society - and now it will be going to Washington DC.

That got me thinking more and more about taxes and redistrubution and the economy on a more personal, micro level if you will.

My money will now be disappearing into the dark hole that is the federal government. I will never see it again unless it comes back to me in a few years as an entitlement.

But if I got to keep it - oh the things it could have done!
Grow interest in a retirement account - which would make it available for my bank to use for things like loans.
Pay for piano lessons- employing one piano teacher!
Pay for other music lessons- employing several music teachers.
Buy a good used car for Calvin.
Buy new tires for other vehicles.
Be used for a vacation get away for me and Mr. Pete - and as we usually vacation not far from home in the Great Lakes area - helping those local economies!
Pay for home improvements - like painters or carpenters.
Replace old computers.
Be given to charities and ministries of our choice.
Pay for medical tests and exams not covered by my insurance.
Help Sam and Calvin with higher education costs.

Gosh the possibilities were endless! But the powers-that-be think they know better. So I will have to write a big check and send it off.

This is Obamanomics- and a great example of why our economy remains stagnant and how taxing actually hurts the economy.

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  1. Those taxes that you missed had nothing to do with Obama. They are tax code. Remember- the tax code was not changed.

    I would be happy to have my 6.5% of my salary from the last 35 years back.

    I do notice that giving to charity was 8th on your list. Supporting the poor in your neighborhood is not high on the list.

  2. 1. Obama reluctantly allowed the Bush tax cuts to stay in place. Nonetheless there is a fear amongst businesses and business owners of onorous taxes coming down the line. To really improve the economy he should have made the tax cuts permanent or even slashed them further.

    2. Who wouldn't be happy to get 6.% back?

    3. I have children to raise so my priorities are a bit different than say yours. Nonetheless, the kids of this inner-city neighborhood know that this is the house for summer fun and summer foods!

    4. You might also note that payment for medical tests not covered by our insurance (or covered after we meet a $5000 deductible) was #11. Paying college costs for my sons was #12.

  3. I took out my comment because I was being too sarcastic. I recognize that you are doing the best with you and yours- as we are doing the best with ours. Happy Sunday!

  4. Well I read them any way and already started this reply so here goes.

    My point on this post was to illustrate on the micro level how taxes affect a community. The things I cannot buy and the services that I cannot pay for affect not only me and my family but also other people. That was the point. If President Obama understood that, he could reassure people that there will be no new tax hikes or he could slash taxes and help jump start this economy which only gew by 1.3% by last reports.

    I have no idea which programs should be cut because that is not my area of expertise. I think all taxpaid programs need to be held accountable for results.

    I wasn't speaking of "parties" at my house but everyday summertime days where kids wander over to play in Rosie's pool, or play football in the street with Noah and Izzy, or stop by the garage to hear Gabe and Sam play. Sometimes if parents agree, I can take some with us to the library. Again, my small part on the micro level.

    Our medical deductible is $5000/person/year. There are currently 7 of us on it. If by chance we all met our deductible, it would be a financial hardship.

    I homeschool. I hope my kids have good study skills and reading, writing and math skills. I'm helping them to CLEP and College Plus. But they have to be in charge of their own educations. I think it will make them responsible adults.

    For 16 years since Mr. Pete started his business we have been in a vicarious financial position. We poured our time and treasure into that hoping to make a goal of it. We finally have a little money, I'm just sorry to see some of it go. I can't help feeling a little sad about it.

  5. that's preccarious not vicarious- Freudian slip.

  6. It is weird- a site called toolshell has attached itself to your page for me.

    I get what you are saying about taxes. I would be better off if I did not have to pay the ones I owe as well. We have never made a whole lot of money. Our kids already make more than we ever did.
    We have only filed a long form three years in our 29 years. It does bug me that I was unable to write off my equipment, car and clothing because I was a teacher and not an independent business person. Heck, I was not even allowed to save as much for my retirement. But I know the risks of each- and I choose what I choose. I was happy for my years of service.

    The point is, El, you blame the Mr Obama for EVERYTHING. When GW as President you always defended him- stating he was only the President and did not have power over everything. Even when he had both houses and did not pass any meaningful anti abortion laws- you continue to praised him. I defended him in war- until I found out that the information was wrong and now we are simply nation building- something he promised not to do. Between his anti abortion and no nation building stance I voted for him twice. He never fulfilled his promises. Still he was a good man and tried- even though he followed poor counsel at times.

    I recognize that all politicians are people. They all pull on their pants and (hopefully) kiss their kids out the door. By blaming one person for something that many are doing is unfair to the republic that we live in. I have lived in an autocracy. This is not even close.

    You come across that you hate one person and blame one person- you can see NO good at all. Is that what you really want your children to think? It is all in the hands of one person? Really?
    I see so many more dimensions to people. I guess I am blessed (or cursed in your eyes). I guess that is how you can half quote Jesus in " the poor will always be with you" and I think "when I was hungry you gave me to eat". I always did favor Matthew and Luke gospels.

  7. I don't hate anyone. I said two years ago that he seemed like a pleasant guy with a great sense of humor. He is not an effective leader, he does not like to roll up his sleeves and get down into the hard work. I heard one of his supporters even talk about that this morning. He simply is not experienced enough for this job.

    It is not an either or on the gospels- We will always have poor. We are always to help them. There is nothing in the gospels however about passing off that obligation and responsibiilty to the government.


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