"Oh, just trying to figure out how I am going to pay off our Christmas debt," he replied, pushing his shaggy blond hair back from his forehead.
"You can celebrate Christmas without going into debt, Lew." I looked him straight in the eye and shared with him what I will now share with you!
American Christmas Spending
January finds moms and dads trying to figure out how to pay off the debt that has turned out to be much bigger than anticipated. Does God smile and pronounce this "good"?
God calls debt, even Christmas debt, foolishness. Make up your mind to NOT go into debt for Christmas.
Start this Christmas season with a plan.
Make a List, Check it Twice
Make a list of all the things you need to purchase for your family Christmas. List gifts you want to give, decorations, food, drinks, travel, and entertainment.
Now it's time to look it over. Go back and prayerfully review your list. Is there anything you can delete? Is there anything that can be substituted with something less expensive. For example, instead of buying an expensive roast, can you eat turkey or ham instead? Instead of attending the laser light show at fifty dollars a ticket, can you attend the church Christmas play for free?
Now it's time to check it twice. Do the same thing you did before, except be ruthless! Cut and substitute to bring your expenses down to the financial amount that you can actually afford.
A Bargain Christmas
Put feet to your faith by bargain hunting too! Don't limit your shopping to the mall. Shop at outlets, thrift stores, garage sales, and department store sales.
Gifts can be second-hand or homemade. Pull out that sewing machine and other tools. You can build, cut, craft, sew, and weave, depending on the amount of time you have to invest.
Buy Christmas food on sale too. Check the food ads in the newspaper or online. I shop at Sam's, Aldi's, Wal Mart, and Publix. Of course, I buy different things at different places. Each one has its own set of bargains.
This may be a new way of celebrating Christmas, but please try it. When the stress of debt is removed from your family's Christmas celebration, you may just find yourself enjoying the Christmas spirit all year long.
Merey (Meredith Ludwig Curtis)