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The Restless Native The Restless Native

Merrily, merrily, merrily…

By  Dec 16, 2016

Trying to save money during the holiday season is like trying to hold water in your hands. It doesn't matter how tightly you cup them, water will always find a way to seep through until it's pretty much gone. I always have a tough time keeping my spending under control during the holidays.

In my house, December is one of the rare periods of the year when we get to relax a bit, spend some time with friends, and go out every once in a while. Obviously, this means spending money. Throw in a few days out of town followed by Christmas shopping and you can be sure our wallets quickly turn as barren as the vegan section of my grandmother's recipe book. Speaking of shopping, December is truly a trying time for me. Along with buying all the Christmas presents, there are other special occasions that fall on the last month of the year. Plenty of people dear to me have birthdays this time of the year including my wife and my (only) brother. As if this is not enough, just after New Year's is our wedding anniversary which means I need to think of three presents for my wife in a span of several weeks. I know this might not sound like a big problem to my female readers, but all the guys reading this are probably breathing out a sigh of relief thinking “It could have been me”.

Financial hit you sustain in preparation for the holidays is a problem enough, but in my book it pales in comparison to the dreaded task of going around supermarkets and stores during holiday rush. Supermarket aisles are packed with people pushing overloaded carts, children hopped up on sugar are racing around me, stuffy over-heated air is filled with cheesy festive music, free parking is a distant childhood memory, and traffic jams are endless. Oh, joy! After a few hours of this, I am usually reduced to a zombie, slowly shuffling along and nodding in agreement to whatever new and exciting home decorating idea my wife throws at me. It’s no wonder those who know me call me Grinch.

If you think I don’t enjoy holidays or spending time with loved ones after reading this, you are wrong. I love all the socialising and eating and drinking and having fun. In fact this is the only reason I go through all this nonsense. It’s just that it seems to me we have a talent for going absolutely overboard during holiday season. We don’t need all the hype and material things to enjoy Christmas time. When you see people at the shops these days, they look like they are preparing for an apocalypse. They are buying ridiculous amounts of food and supplies and… stuff. But, it’s not about stuff. It’s about reminding ourselves that life is more than what the news people tell us. It’s about taking a break from everyday worries, career goals, depressing bank statements, and poisonous politicians. It’s about feeling close to each other. At least that’s what I think, but then again, I’m just a Grinch, what do I know.


Bozidar Jukic, AKA The Restless Native, is a Dubrovnik local with too many interests to name them all, with writing being at the very top of the list. He is a lover of good food, music and film, and a firm believer in the healing power of laughter. His professional orientation is towards tourism and travel so it comes as no surprise he spends most of his time alongside Mrs. Jukic running their own local tour company. Their goal is helping travellers from all over the world get a more intimate experience of Dubrovnik and what it has to offer. To find out more about their work, visit their website or Facebook page.