Merry Christmas! Have a few financial thoughts!
It's practically an obligation amongst bloggers that?something be published for Christmas. Note that I don't say “written.” I'm not writing this today. I often?work every day, but not on Christmas. Christmas is my day to do?absolutely nothing. I don't make meals?(there's plenty of candy to go around), I don't clean anything, and I don't write. I sit on the couch, candy ready to hand, and read all day long.
This fortunate circumstance is the subject of some of my financial thoughts this year.
I'm lucky I don't have to work: Not everyone is as fortunate as I am. There are people who have to work on Christmas Day. I don't even have to work on Christmas Eve if I don't want to. I can work ahead to avoid working on Christmas, and my business does well enough that I don't have to worry about taking some time off.
Santa's unfairness is not something we have to worry about: There's been something going around Facebook that serves as a poignant reminder about the heartbreaking reality of Santa Claus:
We've never had this problem, because we've never done Santa Claus. Makes life and finances easier for a number of reasons. Besides, if we are going to spend money on our son, we want the credit for it. It's one thing to give anonymously to charity (a good thing), and quite another to let a fictional character get the credit for all your hard work and money.
Christmas is easier to manage when you plan year round: One of the financial thoughts I have every year is how much easier it is to manage Christmas spending when you plan ahead. You can set aside money each month so that when November rolls around, you have all you need. My husband frequently starts buying presents a few months before. He can keep his eye out for good deals, and all the money isn't spent at once.
It doesn't have to be really expensive: There is no reason to make Christmas (or any holiday) really expensive. These holidays should be about spending time together as family, and making fun memories. There's no reason to get crazy about spending money. It's too easy for the situation to turn into a pissing contest. From kids comparing expensive presents, to being able to point to whatever other expensive piece of merchandise you have, getting to caught up in things makes it difficult to get away from the idea that net worth someone equals personal worth.
We hear a lot of talk about the “true meaning of Christmas” but even those most vocal about it are often caught up in the “things” aspect. While our family does buy presents, we've gotten less crazy about it over time. And the less we worry about money as we put together our Christmas, the more we enjoy the holiday. You don't have to believe in anything in particular to enjoy Christmas, give simple gifts, and have a nice time with your family.
Don't just stop at my financial thoughts, though. Enjoy this fun holiday episode of the Money Mastermind Show. We've got several guests on with us.