Christmas Parenting and Debt
The Christmas season is upon us with Christmas Day being less than a month away. With that, for many, the anxiety level may already be on the rise due to the expense the season usually incurs. If you find yourself in this position, consider some truths that can help you make it through.
As a parent you can feel overwhelmed at times like Christmas when you want to give gifts to see your child's face light up, and yet financially it is just not possible.
The best thing to do is to simply be honest with your family. Children understand a lot more than we give them credit for. If you take the time to talk with your children before Christmas Day, and explain that your current situation will not allow you to buy them what you would like to, you will prevent their hopes from being dashed, and/or eliminate unrealistic expectations.
If that still leaves you feeling anxious, think about your own childhood. Did you always receive everything you wanted? Probably not, but you lived, and looking back, was your life scarred because of it?
If you really stop to think about it, what is it about Christmas that you remember most from your childhood? Is it the presents you received, or the gathering together of friends and family? The fun, the laughter, the being together. Aren't some of the most treasured memories those that did not cost a penny?
For many people, being blessed by someone doing something with or for them is more meaningful than receiving a present. So stop and think of things you could do with your family and friends and then give them a gift certificate of that special something. They will be excited and appreciate it and it will lessen the impact on your wallet or credit card.
Take the time to determine what the maximum amount you can spend on Christmas is and then stay within that amount. Look through the bundle of flyers that come to your house daily and find the best price on the items you want to buy. If you cannot find the item within the budget, choose a different item.
One way to ensure you stick within your budget is to pay cash for the items you purchase. Not only will this prevent you from spending above your budgeted amount, but it will also alleviate the anxiety of receiving your next credit card bill and starting 2010 on a sour note.
Finally, remember that children live what they learn. The example you set for them by simply being honest and living within your means, will pay big dividends and last far beyond the length of the toys they may not receive.