Sunday, December 6, 2015

Why It's Not Worth Going Into Debt for the Holidays

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When I was growing up, we had a LARGE tree, and the underneath was filled with TONS of packages.

We all got gifts -- cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents -- and multiple gifts from each person.  It was total chaos of bows, ribbons, wrapping paper, and Under Roos.


But I think back, and I wonder how much everyone went into debt for those Christmas gifts.

I think back and I remember so few of the gifts I received.

Despite what you might think, that sought after toy will likely be discarded soon after the holidays.

Yes, it might only be "One Day a Year" but is it worth it to your family, your stress level, and your future to go into debt for "One Day a Year".  (Start saving for next year as soon as you finish paying off this year if you are one of the people who answer "yes" to it being worth it.)

How many gifts do you remember from you childhood?  What were they?

Some of my more memorable gifts were:   a child's sized roll top desk, stationary for writing letters, fun pens, such as my 10 color pen that I loved.  In junior high, my parents got me a film SLR camera.  While not an inexpensive item, I was very interested in photography and used it for almost 20 years.  A useful gift that will last is much more valuable, in my opinion, that something that will become discarded or obsolete.  I also loved craft supplies.   One of my absolute favorite Christmas memories was the year I got a jigsaw puzzle.  My dad and I spent hours putting it together -- with each other.

Yet I know I received dozens and dozens of gifts some years.  What happened?  I was overwhelmed.  There were too many things that something that would have been fun on other days was lost in the shuffle because there were too many new items demanding my attention.

Thin about what is going to be remembered.  Most of my childhood Christmas memories blur into one another -- the ones that stand out are the ones where something more unusual happened.  I don't remember what I received for Christmas 1985, but it's the most unforgettable Christmas ever because we lost power (and heat!).  Another great holiday memory I have is my aunt asking me to her house and us baking cookies and watching Emmett Otter's Jugband Christmas on TV.

You don't have to spend a lot for the holidays to be memorable.  Do something different.  Start a new tradition.   Spend time together.  If you have the money and want to spend it, I'm not telling you not to.  But please don't go into debt for the holidays.  

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