How to Get Through the Holidays with Less Toys

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post however all opinions are ours alone. #AZ529 #AZCollegeSavings #ad

I remember my childhood Christmases vividly.  Stockings stuffed with the smell of peppermint candy, presents wrapped with my favorite sparkly red paper with a perfect green velvet bow.  The anticipation of the gifts made me giddy. 


At my Grandma Annie’s house on Christmas Eve I remember getting one present.  I squealed in delight while I shredded and discarded the wrapping paper.  I remember loving my beautiful new doll dressed in pink with white eyelets and blonde hair.  I played with it all that evening.    The next morning at my Grandma Phyllis’ house on Christmas day I arrived with the same joy and expectation.   When my Grandma greeted me by opening the door, I ran inside and went straight to the tree. But, there was no present; just a single envelope. I opened it up and greeting me would be a piece of paper with the name of a financial institution and an amount of money listed.  I never knew how to react.  My parents would prod me to say thank you, which I did.  But it ended there.  I would always shove the envelope in my dad’s hands and go find the dessert table.


Fast forward 20 years later, I can’t remember most of the gifts I received at my Grandma Annie’s house.  I don’t know where they are, if they still exist, or how long I even kept them around.  What I do remember is the amazing times I had in my freshman dorm.  I remember being able to afford to buy my first car, a Plymouth Neon.  I made it through four years of college tuition, outrageously expensive textbooks, and supplies because of those envelopes Grandma Phyllis gave me each and every Christmas and birthday.  Those envelopes I begrudgingly accepted were my college savings. 


Even though during the holidays it’s fun to give and receive tangible gifts, one of the most meaningful gifts that can be given is a gift for the future.  If you are unsure how to begin, you can start by visiting AZ Family College Savings Program (AZ 529 Plan)  az529.com/gift1.  There you can download a free college savings planner which provides a breakdown of estimated costs for your future student and how to save the money needed to ensure they leave college debt free.  

Toys don’t last. An education does.  Learn how you can give the gift of education and receive valuable tax breaks at az529.com/gift1

I could not be more thankful to know that the envelope tradition continues.  Beauty, Buddy, and Biggie receive their white envelope for every birthday and Christmas.  While they might not be jumping for joy, in the background you can find me high fiving my hubby and fist pumping the air.

What are you doing to prepare for your child’s college education?  Join our conversation on Facebook!



Megan has contributed 51 articles on https://www.noguiltmom.com since July 10, 2014.

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