Tis The Season: Christmas Finance

Tis the Season…. for Black Friday. Shoppers get your motors hummin’ and your battle gear on just to save, save and save. The deals are just too hard to ignore.  Great fun it shall be waiting in line for the next great material thing that will  make this Christmas the best ever. Right! Right? No, I don’t think so. Really, is this what Jesus died on the cross for? I know he was Jewish and most retailers are Jewish…I just don’t think that this is what Jesus had in mind. “I forgive your sins…now go and shop likewise.”

So, it’s the season of giving and we need to look into our spending plan (you know, the “b” word budget) and categorize the gifts.  We suggest putting a dollar amount limit per person in your immediate family and extended family. Our family does a gift exchange where you pull names out of a hat and get a gift for that person only. Hopefully you know that family member well enough to get a meaningful gift. I have a hair brush that I still use today that my Aunt got me when I was 5. The good news is I still use it and, at the current rate, I will not get to use it by age 45 (judging by my uncle on my mother’s side).

Here are some other practical ideas in which you can build into your kids and grandkids’ lives. Beyond the latest shale derivative product that, by two Christmas’s hence, will be at Rumple Mountain waiting to be discovered by archaeologists. Thank God for PBS.

Seriously, try these out:

  1. Serve together as a family for the next year. Together, your family and even extended family can pick a charity and serve together for 2014. You will be building memories as well as building into a good cause. This helps show the “time,” element of giving.
  2. Give your kids and grandkids a “share check,” where they get to write out the name of the charity they want to give to. The important thing is to follow up with the charity of choice to show the kids that their “treasure” can make a difference.
  3. Have your kids “coach” someone else in the family or community with what their “gifts” are. If they are good at math, have them help someone else who might be struggling.  This will show them that we can give our “talents.”

Our culture is so focused on the now and the ”me,” let’s hope we can show what Christmas is all about this year. We serve Jesus as we serve others and THAT should not only be told, it should be acted upon.



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