Christmas is only about 40 days away depending on where you live in the world, and with the spending frenzy beginning right after Thanksgiving let’s pause and think about what really matters and go into this season with intentions to not stress and go into debt as we find with the scenario below.
She unloads her basket onto the countertop as the cashier begins ringing up a pile of gift items. A knot the size of a cantaloupe sits like a boulder in the pit of her stomach. The sweaty palms of her nervous hands make it hard to find her credit card as she watches the number on the cash register escalate with each item.
I hate Christmas! The thought takes her off guard and she silently rebukes herself for such sac-religiousness!
Of course, she doesn’t HATE Christmas, it’s just the pressure…
It’s too much this year.
My kids need clothes, my car needs an oil change, rent is due, and I’m buying things I can’t afford, she reproaches herself.
There never seems to be enough money to do everything I want to do. How do other families provide such nice Christmases for their kids? I don’t want my kids to feel cheated. She justifies the purchases that sink her further into debt in the name of keeping up with the Joneses.
Christmas is certainly a time to celebrate BIG, but we actually do our kids a disservice when we go beyond our means and act like it’s ok. We set them up to live a life enslaved to credit card debt by our example.
Create duplicate-able traditions for your kids, so they won’t grow up and continue the insanity of debt combined with stress, in the name of Christmas. If a few items tucked away in stockings are all your family can afford, it’s ok. Your kids will respect you in the long run for providing a stable home for them, versus a stressed-out atmosphere because the interest accruing on the ever-growing credit card bill weighs heavy on Mom’s mind.
With intentional effort, you can create a festive atmosphere in your home with first: a smile on your face and a song in your heart. That may sound silly, but kids honestly just long for happy, playful parents. It’s a free gift you can give your children that they will forever remember.
Keep Christmas music playing, and bake banana bread, sugar cookies, and fun treats with your kids. Set aside one day a week every single week in December to play games as a family. Plan to go to a Christmas Eve Candlelight Service.
Christmas should be a delight, not a burden. Do yourself and your family a favor by celebrating within your God-given means.
Remember to celebrate wholeheartedly and use wisdom, before Black Friday and Cyber Monday arrive!