Giving at Christmas is exciting! It is also the number one Holiday that people shop because they are givers and want to be a blessing to others. In contrast, some shop out of obligation; someone who was not on their Christmas list gave them an expensive gift and now they feel as though they need to buy an equally expensive kind of gift. Some shop emotionally and those emotions are often comprised of pressure and expectations of others and at times increases an individual’s stress level. Christmas is a season that should be joyful and filled with love and peace. Before you shop, focus on the real reason for the season which is celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.
The commercialization of Christmas, BUYING gifts, often becomes very stressful. Before you shop consider these things:
- Focus on the true spirit of Christmas – whether it is a religious tradition for you or not, focus on what is meaningful to you and allow peace, joy and love be a part of it; instead of stress and chaos.
- Make a shopping list and put the spending limit next to it – Stick to the list! For example: Christmas tree – $45, Clothing – $300, Holiday Travel – $300, Christmas Cards – $25, Food – $250 (etc.).
- Avoid skipping, paying your bills to shop – Delinquencies due to the use of bill money for gift giving are an indicator that Christmas shopping was not a part of your plans throughout the year. In other words, it could mean that you cannot afford to spend money on gifts that should be allocated for your bills. Remember that once Christmas morning is gone, the bill payments will still be due.
- Limit gift giving – Make it known to your family and friends that this year you will be giving non- monetary gifts; you will be giving gifts of yourself and ask them to join you. For those with younger children, teach them the real reason for the season and avoid breaking the bank on things that they may not remember years for now. Instead include investing in their future while preparing for Christmas morning. Again, limit gift giving by giving of yourself. For example: 1) Babysit for a single mother or married couple so that they can go out on a date. 2) Cook dinner for an elderly person. 3) Give a gift certificate to someone for a drive to the doctor or grocery shopping. 4) Visit someone this Christmas that doesn’t have family nearby. 5) Volunteer to feed the homeless.
Remember to create beautiful stress free memories with your family and friends without breaking the bank; giving of yourself. Please feel free to share how you will spend your Christmas holiday, by leaving a comment. E-mail me at email@example.com.