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Christmas Choices

Let’s say you are among the top 10% of the income bracket in the United States.
Your choices about Christmas may be limitless.

Let’s say you are among the 15% of people, considered to be below the poverty level.
Your choices about Christmas may be very limited.

Let’s say you are among the country’s “Middle Class.”
You probably have the most options for making choices. You also may have some tough choices to make.

In all three of these scenarios, people have to make choices on how to spend the money they have. Your values and priorities will shape your decisions.

Some people might say that the higher income folks will have a better Christmas, because they can get their family more things.

Some folks may beg to differ, saying that the lowest income families will have a better Christmas because they understand that Christmas is about love, not stuff.

I think the middle class has the most potential to struggle with priorities during the holiday season.
Let’s face it, they have money and they have desires. Some people can get caught up in the desire to give and outspend their budget. Then they are faced with a bill they can’t pay. Oops. What do you do then?!

This is when you have to take a hard look at your priorities.
Is it more important that your family have lots of (or a few expensive) Christmas gifts, or is it more important to pay your bills?
I can’t answer that for you. That is your choice. Let me remind you of a few things, though…
• You only have so much money (unless you want to go into debt by “charging” your Christmas)
• Most children don’t need anything but your time and attention
• People don’t always get what they want (there is a lesson in that)
• Parental love is unconditional, you children’s should be as well
• Handmade gifts can be less expensive, fun, and more important to the receiver
• A family board game can be a single gift that then brings the family together to have fun
Just some thoughts.

Christmas should not be about stress, the decorations, the presents, the activities.

Christmas is about giving of oneself and loving others more than ourselves.

After all…
Jesus is the reason for the season!

*Pam Horton is a Certified Stress Management Coach.*
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