She unloads her basket onto the counter top 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: the smile on your face and 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, 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.
Celebrate whole-heartedly and use wisdom!
Merry Christmas to you and yours!