The holidays are a time of great temptation. There’s a sale around every corner and it’s hard to stay focused on the true meaning of the season. But if you ever want to have financial security in your life, you need to keep these things in mind:
DO NOT USE CREDIT CARDS FOR CHRISTMAS. Pay cash. Start saving for Christmas each January. Watch the sales year-round and buy things as you see them on sale. Subscribe to e-mails from companies you like. They’ll tell you about sales, overstocks, and free shipping. Shop thrift stores for one-of-a-kind gifts. Sell your old junk and use the cash to get presents. The best gift you can give your family is the gift of financial solvency.
Do not worry about how much others spend on you. There have been times when I have been embarrassed by others’ generosity. I have felt that I had to spend a certain dollar amount just so I wouldn’t look “cheap.” How dumb! Living beyond your means to impress family and friends is insane. You need to do what you can afford. Just remember that you are doing the best you can with the resources you have and that ultimately, it’s the thought that counts, not how much money you spend.
If you’re creative, make your own gifts. Some of the best gifts are those that can’t be bought in a store. Things like photographs, baked goodies, handcrafted toys, and quilts are all meaning gifts.
You don’t need to buy your kids ten zillion presents. I once heard a discussion on public radio about how extravagant Christmas has become. A woman called in and said she only buys her children three presents each. She said, “Three presents was good enough for Jesus – it should be good enough for them!”