Charlotte Marshall Templeman
Tis the Season……To not go in Debt
The holiday season is here and Christmas decorations are being put up. Holiday parties at work are underway and the pressure to buy gifts is enormous. For many people, the holiday season is a time to spend with family and friends. It is a time when we get to show our loved ones how much we love them even more. However, the holiday season can be very stressful, especially financially. For some parents the Christmas lists from their bright eyed children can be a matter of spending money they do not have or disappointing their child by not producing that much wanted toy under the Christmas tree. Going into debt should not be an option but for many people that is exactly what happens.
Christmas is one of the biggest money maker holidays. Americans spend a record number of money on things from appliances, electronics and toys. Black Friday begins the official shopping for the season and people flock to various stores to take advantage of the numerous sales. Credit cards, gift cards and money are used as payment for people to get what they want. Often times however, people spend more money than they have. For some parents the holiday season is stressful because all too often they are spending money that is designated for something else like a utility bill, grocery bill or other important expense. Not wanting to disappoint their children they will spend the money that they do not have just to give their child that special gift they have been asking for all year. Christmas has always been very commercialized but as parents we have to remember what the season is all about and convey that to our children.
As Christians we believe that Jesus Christ was born on Christmas day. Celebrating Christmas is more than receiving gifts; it is a time of giving and sharing with those less fortunate. Going into debt to buy a toy or gift should never be an option for anyone. As parents we have to sit our children down and explain to them why we celebrate Christmas and what the holiday really means. In doing so, taking our children to volunteer at soup kitchens to feed the homeless, or visiting a children’s hospital to read to terminally ill kids will begin the spirit of giving in them. By teaching our children these values we are showing them that love is the most important gift of the holiday. The holiday season should never become too stressful to the point where the true meaning is lost. Giving gifts is wonderful and making our children smile is even greater; but not at the expense of spending what you do not have. Once Christmas day is over, life will continue to go on and our children will still need to be taken care of. Making sure their home is conducive for living by having all the necessities of life is the greatest gift of all. Besides that having our children know we love them, they are safe and taken care of is priceless. Remembering the reason for the season will hopefully relieve some stress on parents who feel they have to do more than they can. Merry Christmas and remember Jesus is the reason for the season.