Ready for Christmas?
One of my favorite Dave Ramsey quotes is “Christmas is not an emergency. December 25th arrives on the same day, every year!”
He says this in reference to using your credit card to pay for Christmas presents.
Planning your Christmas budget way ahead of time is a great advantage. I always enjoyed working somewhere that offered a Christmas Club deduction. You designate how much to set aside out of each paycheck & they stash it away for you in a Christmas Club. Then the 1st of December, it matures (or whatever they call it) and they cut you a check for the full amount you had set aside. Waa-laa, Christmas shopping money. OH, and layaway is coming back – another great way to make payments without interest!
Another way to spread out the spending is to pick up stuff throughout the year. If you’re out somewhere & you see something “so&so” would just love (and it’s within your budget) grab it up and stash it until Christmas. The trick with this method is … you have to remember where you stashed it! I have a closet that I keep all the gifts I happen to pick up during the year. You could keep a list with what you have gotten people, so you know who’s been bought for and who you still need to get something for.
Buying something for the “person who has everything” can be a difficult task. We have come on this situation with our parents, who really don’t “need” anything, and they really don’t “want” anything, but they’re our parents and we want to give them something for Christmas. We have started giving to charitable organizations in their honor. There are a number of organizations who offer this option, and most times they will mail the person you purchased in honor of a card letting them know a gift was given in their honor. What a neat way to show love, all the way around – grin.
What about NOT buying gifts? Shock!! Did she say that out loud?! Yes, I did! Times are tough these days and people just can’t afford to spend money on presents for others. That’s OK. You may want to have a conversation with some relatives, or friends and see if it’s okay with them to stop giving each other gifts. Some people are relieved that you asked. Some people might say no they still want to exchange gifts. You could have a group and draw names, that way each person gives one & gets one but everybody gets something. You could do homemade gifts. I did this for a number of years when my husband & I were first married.
I crocheted scarves for everyone. I made those “time-out” dolls for each family. I baked cookies (Yes, I used to be a pretty good baker – back in the day – haha). I wrote poems and stories. I gave coupons, you know… this coupon good for one lawn mowing, or one car wash, or one cooked dinner, an hour of you & me time, etc. It can be done, Christmas gifts DON’T have to break the bank.
As the chorus in a Steven Curtis Chapman song says:
‘Cause Christmas is all in the heart, that’s where the feeling starts
And like a fire inside, it touches every part
‘Cause Christmas is all in the heart
And even if no white snow falls, that’s all right because
The joy can still be found, wherever you are
‘Cause Christmas is all, all in the heart
Have a happy, joy filled, stress-free December!