Thanksgiving is over, and we all know what that means; time to put the Christmas lights up.
I have a love-hate relationship with Christmas. The pretty decorations, the Christmas cookies, Christmas parades, and the nostalgic, whimsical feeling. It’s beautiful.
But the “hate” part of the relationship comes in when I start feeling the commercialism. The push to buy everything for everybody. The tantalizing displays at the store, designed to get our kids begging for the colorful toy inside, wearing us down until we finally get it.
It’s not pretty.
And if you’re in a place where you’re struggling to afford what you feel obligated to spend on Christmas, girl, I feel you, and I want to help.
With all the hustle and bustle, here’s something important to remember:
You don’t have to do anything. You can give an unqualified “no” to any and all invitations, and obligations, and you don’t have to feel bad about.
Maybe people won’t understand, maybe they’ll be put out, but this is your life, and you can do what’s best for your family without having to justify yourself to others.
I remember the Christmas I was ten, my parents were struggling a bit financially, and we didn’t have a big Christmas. My mom was never big on decorating anyway, but we kids really felt it in the lack of gifts under the tree.
As I recall, all we got that year were books and clothes.
We were a little disappointed, I’ll admit, but I can tell you that we still ran around, played and had a blast with our cousins on Christmas day, and we still enjoyed every minute of Christmas time.
We may have been disappointed in the moment when our Christmas wishes weren’t fulfilled that year, but more importantly, our parents modeled financial responsibility, while teaching us that Christmas isn’t all about the things, it’s about the people, and as an adult, I don’t regret it at all.
It’s because of lessons like that from my parents that I’m a debt-free adult with a healthy savings account.
Don’t be afraid to say no to the pressure to spend more than you can afford, in order to teach your children how to be responsible with money.