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Christmas Shopping, Parties, and Living Within Our Means

A few weeks ago I was cranky all day, and while I was under the weather, looking back I think that the real reason that I was upset was that I wasn’t out shopping for Christmas presents.

Sure, I am shopping for Christmas gifts, but I’m not out mindlessly spending money on things I don’t need simply because they’re red and green and sparkly. I felt aggravated and stifled because I wasn’t out being a part of the bustle, and once I came to that realization my attitude started changing.

I don’t like budgeting Christmas because it’s always been a free for all in my mind, but you know what I dislike even more? Being in consumer debt (debt for things that don’t appreciate in value) for stuff that I didn’t need in the first place.

I’m in my 30’s, and I’m finally starting to learn how to spend based on what I have, instead of what I had before or what I wish I had. I know it’s not cool. Actually, it’s a little embarrassing, but I think it’s important to say it anyway though because one out of every four Americans is crippled by consumer debt.

I love the holidays because I get to spend time with my family and friends, give gifts to my friends and family, cook amazing food, bake pretty and delicious desserts…

It’s so much fun, and I will do all of those things this year too. We’re just doing it without building debt. And you know what? Our tree skirt is overflowing with gifts for each other and the people we love, we have a full list of Christmas parties to attend with loved ones, I’m baking like a Christmas elf, and we’re going to host an awesome Christmas sweater Christmas party next weekend too.

It’s so odd and awesome to be in the midst of change and to recognize God’s work in my heart and mind and spirit. I’m also thankful that I can recognize my feelings for what they are while realizing that they’re not always true.¬†Christmas shopping will probably always be something that I enjoy. I’ve learned that I have the gift of giving that Paul talks about in Romans. I just want to continue to develop self-control too, and I’m learning that being thoughtful doesn’t mean that I should spend beyond my means.

This lesson in spending will be awesome when I look back in January and realize that I won’t be making any payments on last year’s Christmas gifts.

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