Helmet… check. Flak jacket… check. Last will and testament updated… check. Okay, it sounds like you’re all set to go shopping on Black Friday.
These sale events have gotten out of control, literally! A couple of years ago there was a near riot over $2 waffle makers at Wal-Mart, and a woman in California pepper sprayed 20 other shoppers to get to an Xbox video game console.
Well, how can we keep ourselves out of the Red on Black Friday? Here are 5 ways that should really help:
- First of all have a Christmas shopping spending plan! Know exactly what you’re going to spend beforehand, and stick to it.
- Do your homework on where the best deals are and make a shopping list for anything you’re not buying online BEFORE you leave the house.
- Don’t get sucked into opening store credit cards for a discount!
- Don’t forget about Cyber Monday (Monday, November 30th). It is a really big deal these days, and there are plenty of deals to be had online.
- You can go to a deal tracking website, such as, DealNews.com. They also have smart phone app that will alert you if a deal pops up that matches what you’re looking for.
Some Black Friday stories are so silly that you have to laugh. But they are also symbolic of something sad. The world is intent on taking Christ out of Christmas and replacing Him with holiday gift giving. So, make a real effort to keep yourself and your family focused on the real reason we celebrate Christmas. The birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
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.
I hope that Christmas was a very special time for you.
It was for us. Bev’s bone cancer is a consistent reminder of something we should all be aware of each day: Life is short, eternity is long, and what we do during this brief time on planet earth has eternal consequences. I light of this reality, what are we doing each day that is really going to matter a couple of million years from now?
Time with family and friends over Christmas is a great investment of time to encourage one another to remember what Christmas is all about. The day the Son of God came to earth as a baby boy to sacrificially die for us so that we will be with Him and all those who know Jesus Christ – forever.
For us, the most precious time during the Christmas holiday was when we were exchanging gifts and our 4-year old granddaughter opened her presents. She was super excited and Continue reading Christmas & Bev Update
For the first couple of weeks after my wife, Bev, started her new and more powerful medication to treat her bone cancer, she had practically no side effects. All that changed last week. She broke out in a rash that is irritating. She vacillates between hot flashes and cold flashes. And I am writing this blog from the hospital where Bev is undergoing a sonogram to determine if she has a blood clot in her ankle.
News Flash: We just learned that she does not have a blood clot – thank our Lord!
We remain deeply grateful for your prayers for her healing. The Lord is completely able to completely heal her of cancer.
This is my favorite time of the year.
It’s a wonderful time to celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Times with family and friends are precious. However, many around us have tried to take Christ out of Continue reading Preparing for Christmas
The anchor on the evening news opened with a cheery, “Happy Holidays!” . . . . whatever happened to Merry Christmas?
Then his expression completely changed to one of deep concern, discouragement, and even distress. Was he going to report on a natural disaster, or did someone die, or did another one of the Kardashians get divorced?
No, he went on to explain that Christmas retail sales were down! The expected 2.5 percent increase in sales turned out to be only a .5 percent increase. Retailers and politicians were wringing their hands. What was the cause of this major catastrophe? The fiscal cliff? Unrest in the Mid-east? What could have been so devastating that Continue reading Christmas Retail Sales
This weekend I talked with Jess, a close friend. He was discouraged because when he and his wife celebrated Christmas early the night before, they forgot something.
No, they didn’t forget to prepare a great meal for their children and grandchildren. And they didn’t forget to turn the television off so they could enjoy undistracted conversation among the generations. And they didn’t neglect to exchange thoughtful gifts with one another.
What they forgot was to make Jesus Christ the center of their time together. Jess realized that this year they had missed a priceless opportunity to start the family tradition of elevating the reason for Christmas—the birth of Jesus Christ—Emanuel—God with us.
Jess told me that he couldn’t sleep the night after as he thought of the squandered opportunity and how different it was going to Continue reading Put Christ in Christmas