Is Debt the New Christmas Spirit?

November 22, 2013

in LESSisMORE, Money

It would be easy to spend way too much money the next thirty-two days. Some stores are starting “Black Friday” on Thanksgiving evening while others are starting as early as today. One TV commercial encourages you to “out gift everyone”.

Really?

11-22-2013a

I’m not against gifts, but I think madness has taken hold of our society with regards to Christmas shopping. We feel we must give, to everyone, and we feel we must at least match if not out do what they give us. We spend money we don’t have, and we spend money we should use in other ways. Many folks put Christmas on credit cards and pay it off for months into the New Year.

Before the madness starts, sit down with your wife and decide what you should do. Don’t be influenced by media, society, or what your friends are going to do. Decide what is right, and do that. Give a lot, or a little, or nothing, but do it based on a plan you think out before you start.

That said, if you do any buying on-line, would you kindly do so starting from the links on this page? You pay the same, and I get 1% to 5% of what you spend for pointing the way. (And no, shopping via the links does not make it okay to go into debt for Christmas!)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hark the herald tribune sings, 
Advertising wondrous things. 
God rest ye merry, merchants, 
May you make the yuletide pay. 
Angels we have heard on high 
Tell us to go out and buy!

~ Tom Lehrer – A Christmas Carol

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8 comments
AndrewTheLesser
AndrewTheLesser

Personally I would enjoy Christmas much more without the gift-giving component.  Giving/recieving gifts is not my love language,  so I struggle with it and worry that I wont be doing it right.  What that usually means is that I spend more than I have to while trying to "get it right"  Giftgiving is very stressful for me because I worry I will spend too much on the wrong gift, and the recipient will feel devalued because I gave the wrong gift.  I have started taking notes about what my wife expresses an interest in during the year, so I can buy her something she is actually interested in instead of what I think she might like.  It worked last year, so hopefully she likes what I got her this year.

Romance Man @ CrackingTheRomanceCode.com
Romance Man @ CrackingTheRomanceCode.com

The holidays which I remember the most from my childhood, I received the least (in physical gifts) and had joy from being with family. My parents, who were not religious, found ways to help others in our neighborhood who were struggling.

After getting married, it was enriching to give a gift to our children they were not expecting to receive. We lived on a tight budget and my wife (like sexwithinmarriege) budgeted through the year to have enough money to get them gifts. Family has been the greatest gift and now as our children are grown, having them in town with us is most important. One lives with her family 1,000 miles away and one lives 550 miles away. We only get all together once a year so this is what is special for us. The physical gifts are kept to a minimum and family is emphasized.

Thanks for helping to focus on the true meaning for the season!

Rosemary West / forbetterorwhat.com
Rosemary West / forbetterorwhat.com

Years ago, we realized that  everyone was spending too much time and money trying to please each other in ways that were not meaningful. We sent a friendly message to extended family letting them know that we were opting out of exchanging gifts. Some people still occasionally give us something small (usually cookies), because they feel like it, and that's okay. We can now enjoy the holidays as holidays.

SexWithinMarriage.com
SexWithinMarriage.com

We budget at the beginning of the year for all gifts, and we do not exceed it.  The money gets saved up throughout the year for it, and then, it gets spent by the new year.  No excuses, no credit cards, no debt.  We have enough debt from the years we weren't so wise with our finances, neither of us want to add more.

LadyJac
LadyJac

We are a 14-year blended family that has 6, now adult, kids with spouses.  That would make 11 siblings for each to buy for.  Christmas should be getting together with family not a financial burden.   A few years ago, we started a family tradition that is fun and still allows time for gift exchange.  Each adult brings one $50 gift ($100 a couple).  We then play the Mean Santa game and the fun commences.   

The opposition we got was, “I like looking for and finding that special gift for my brother/sister.”  Our rebuttal is….they have a birthday.    

My husband and I also took a step back with spending at Christmas, each of our 12 get a $50 gift card to their favorite place, and a couple of little gifts, that we purchase throughout the year. 

But please know, we make a BIG DEAL about birthdays!  

TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband moderator

@LadyJac "we make a BIG DEAL about birthdays!"

Seems like a great way to honour and celebrate one person, and then you can make the holidays more about God and family. Very nice!

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