Wednesday, December 26, 2012
I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! We flew back on Christmas Day after several days spent in our Alberta home with the kids visiting friends and family. It was nice, but very exhausting. Today we are taking a day to do whatever we want and tomorrow we go back to work as Hubby got an extra contract signed in December that we were not expecting and there is much to be done.
The weather was very cold in Alberta, with temperatures on average being -24 degrees celcius and lots of snow. We flew home to a little snow on the ground that was slushy and melting with a temperature of 1 degree celcius. A difference of 23 degrees and we shall take that anyday! Green grass is still peeking out from under the snow and THAT IS WHY WE MOVED HERE - way less winter and the ocean.
This Christmas was on budget. We spent 1/3 less on gifts, and to be honest nobody noticed. We used the money saved on a lower gift budget to help defray the costs on the airfare (we used 1/2 points and 1/2 cash) and car rental. This Christmas still was very expensive but hopefully the sealed pot will help our 2013 Christmas budget. The grocery budget was blown as expected, not because I went overboard but because a lot of groceries had to be bought for the Alberta home for meals with leftovers that were left behind for my stepson who lives there. This will definitely be our last Christmas in that house as we have made a decision to put it back on the market in March, and this time with a realtor as we now live out of Province. Even if we have to lose money we will sell it as cannot see carrying two homes through another year. It is way more expensive than anticipated and we are just fortunate that we had saved so much money for this year of transition and are debt free with exception of a small mortgage from carrying the 2nd home. The other thing that saved us is that hubby's company took off and we have actually been staying afloat on that income since October. We had initially kept the Alberta house as expected an increase in the market as Alberta seems to be booming again due to the Oil Sands - but it will still take several years that we don't have. This is our priority in 2013. Our new Island home costs 1/2 of what the Alberta home does to maintain and is just perfect for the two of us.
Mom is coming to visit for two days for New Years and that is when I am cooking a Turkey with all the trimmings as Christmas Eve we had the traditional Ukrainian food (I even cooked two Ukrainian dishes to my Mother-in-laws approval) and Christmas day was spent travelling. Five alarm Chili waiting to be re-heated was in the freezer and that was our dinner last night with a Christmas drink and the opening of our gifts to each other.
Today is a jammie day with lots of tea drinking and reading. Have a great day!