I love Christmas. I love all of the Christmas music, getting together with friends and family, and of course giving and receiving Christmas gifts. However; the gifting tradition intrigues me as a financial planner and father to four kids. There can be a lot of anxiety and stress during the holidays, and most of it has to do with Christmas shopping. The phrase “are you done yet?” is said many times in the last few days before Christmas almost as a default greeting between friends. I know that many people hold their breath as their credit or debit card is swiped on those last few items, in anticipation of an embarrassing decline.
Stressful procrastination, overspending, and anxiety over meeting expectations can unfortunately put a serious damper on what should be a very special season. As happens in so many instances; as fallible humans in a crazy world, we lose perspective.
I am no exception. Over the course of my adult life I have struggled to find the right balance between giving in a caring and responsible manner. Most importantly, my hope has always been that my children would find that balance through example and demonstrate it in their lives.
This is the first year that all of my kids were responsible for all of their own Christmas shopping with their own money, and they handled the responsibility extremely well.
My second oldest, through a series of circumstances, ended up needing one more gift than she had anticipated. With very little money left to work with, she ended up in my shop with a Pinterest post, a horseshoe, two nails, and a scrap piece of Mesquite from the wood bin. This is what she came up with in a pinch for her boyfriend:
It’s a great gift! It shows that creativity can thrive under limited resources.
For you and your family, I wish you a Merry Christmas.