Jordan J. Ballor
December 10, 2014
We don’t do our Christmas shopping in a vacuum; that’s what gives marketing and advertising its power.
I like this article. Back when I was 40, I was working as a Social Worker and making good money. I took 2 short term sick leaves and could not return to work after the third one. Being a single parent of 3 teenagers, I had to go on Social Assistance because I was too burned out to work anywhere.
So my income went from $42,000 to $25,000 UIC and then to $10,000 SAocial Assistance. Now I am again on Social Assistance with a disability. I was getting much less than what the poverty line is for single adults and I had investments and was getting $200 a month from it so I was doing OK. Then last year I found out that I would only get $625 for the entire year from my investments and I was SURE I could not live on that small amount of money. However God has been good to me and I am doing fine with the lesser amount of money.
We all need to cut back at Christmas time with the expensive gifts we feel we need to give our loved ones but we should not be going into debt to the point that we end up paying for them over the next year with a hefty interest rate attached.
I make homemade things for gifts and that way I am saving money but also giving from my heart. (I am like the little drummer boy in that I don't have a gift to bring that is worthy of the person it goes to.) I make no apologies either.
Several years ago, my wife and I decided to stop giving each other Christmas gifts, and we agreed to take the money we might normally spend on each other and to use it for another worthy cause instead. (I don't share this to earn spiritual "props," just to resonate with the spirit of what this piece above is describing.)
The ironic thing about our new tradition is that we actually spend MORE at Christmastime than ever before, when we used to set arbitrary "price limits" on our gifts in a vain attempt to reign in our spending. Don't get me wrong: we still buy our loved ones nice, thoughtful gifts whenever we can. But for several years now our gift to one another has been the shared experience of giving itself, and we've never been happier. It's the one gift that never disappoints, and the one we get the most excited about--the one that draws us closer than anything else we do the whole season.
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