Wednesday, November 07, 2007

More Holiday$

Nephew had a post linking to a good article in regards to Christmas and giftgiving. While I do not agree with the language used in the article, the author had a good point- we are heading into the time of year where everyone conveniently forgets about paying down debt and saving, and uses the excuse of "Christmas" to run up their debt even deeper! It's insane the way people run around spending like crazy at this time of year, all because it's the holiday and we are supposed to give gifts. And it's okay to charge it. Ya know what, it's NOT okay! I got a letter from my credit card company yesterday, CONGRATULATING me that they are increasing my credit line for the holiday ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS?! Why? Do you think that by doing that I am going to go out and charge it up? Do people spend that much on Christmas? Well, I am going to tell you something right now - if I cannot pay cash for it, you are NOT getting it! I shredded their letter, and apparenlty I need to call them and let them know that their card was shredded MONTHS ago....! I just never cancelled it!
You can have a nice holiday season without going into debt. I do it every year.

I have 3 siblings, 2 of which are married - that's FIVE gifts....we exchange names, Secret Santa Style, every year on Thanksgiving (put a $25 cap on it) so that everyone only has to buy ONE gift, and everyone gets a gift!
I have 4 Nieces and 2 Nephews. They all get gifts, but I consult with the older ones on what they want, and they get a gift card towards the store of their choice or towards the item wanted - I am not purchasing any iPods or Laptops! For the younger ones, I consult with their Mother and get something off of their wish list in a reasonable price range.
I pick up small items on clearance throughout the year for stocking stuffers or office gift exchange. The after Christmas sales are a great time to stock up on ornaments or gifts for the next year....I always have stuff stored away in the closet!
I usually bake cookies, breads, and fudge -I start Thanksgiving weekend, as everything freezes well, and sometimes have the Nieces over to help. I have a list of friends/family who get a special box of Christmas Yummies mailed to them, and I usually gift these to family & friends here as well, these are also handy to have if you get invited to a Christmas party, it's a nice Hostess Gift. It's not that expensive to bake, most people appreciate something homemade, and it shows that you care when you put effort into making something.

The bottom line is if you cannot afford to go out and buy gifts, DON'T go into debt just because everyone else is! Let your family know that you cannot afford to do it, and want to start a Secret Santa, or a cookie or dinner exchange instead...


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