Well, it’s that time of year to put up the Christmas decorations and engage in the annual tug of war between you, your credit card and the retailers as you do your shopping for gifts. And guess what? The average shopper racks up more than $500 in credit card debt Christmas shopping and doesn’t pay it off until the following October!
So, what should we do to stay out of debt this Christmas?
No, it isn’t finding the best sale. It’s having a Christmas spending plan that you stick to and making some creative decisions. And it’s even more important to remember what Christmas is really all about… celebrating the birth of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
When you use a spending plan for Christmas, you tend to think more carefully about your spending and avoid impulsive purchases. So, here are some suggestions on having a debt-free Christmas that is also a wonderful time and memory for your family.
Be a student of each member of your family and buy or make inexpensive gifts that are valuable to the recipient because it reflects their personal interests and needs.
If finances are tight this year and you have an extended family, consider name-swapping so each person buys a gift for only one or two people.
Create a culture of the family enjoying the fellowship with one another and focusing on Christ and not tons of presents.
Consider as a family giving to those who are needy. We did this when our children were young and discovered it replaced greed and the desire to get more and more with memories we still talk about fondly.
Make Christmas about Christ by having a birthday cake for Him, caroling with friends, and reading the Christmas story.
The world has taken Christ out of Christmas – let’s put Him back in it front and center.
Howard is the founder of Compass—finances God’s way and author of five books and six small group studies. He graduated from Cornell University and served two and a half years as a naval officer. But after a business partner challenged him to study the Bible to discover what God teaches about handling money, Howard’s life was profoundly changed. Since beginning in ministry, he has served as a full-time volunteer and has led more than 75 small groups. Howard married Beverly in 1971, and had two children and four grandchildren before she went Home to be with the Lord. In 2019, Howard remarried. He and his wife, Lynn, reside in Central Florida and Charleston, South Carolina.