Christmas Shopping

Some of you might be in denial about this, but Christmas is coming. Yes, November is almost over. Thanksgiving is behind us. Many of us, of course, are very excited about this. Certain members of my household will be lobbying for me to play Christmas music nonstop between now and December 25. Others of us are worried about the financial implications of the holiday season, among other things.

So, how can we enjoy Christmastime without getting overly stressed about the expenses of the season? One important way is to plan ahead. In an April post, I talked about financial freedom and planning. But did you ever think about how you can budget specifically for Christmas? Instead of re-inventing the wheel on this one, here’s an article that provides some straightforward steps to budgeting at Christmastime:

Did you shop on “Black Friday” like I did? Maybe you think shopping the day after Thanksgiving is crazy, but I enjoy the festiveness of it—at least until lunchtime. Here’s another article from the same blogger with some practical tips that apply to the whole holiday season, not just Black Friday.

Even decorating for Christmas can be costly. Have you seen the price of the fanciest Christmas decorations? Even if you are not in the market for a $650 roofline bundle of Christmas lights, it’s so easy to spend more than you should. If you’ve got a creative spark, then Pinterest has a plethora of ideas for you: The do-it-yourselfers share lots of ideas for cheaper ways to decorate at Christmastime: 30 Cheap DIY Christmas Decorations.

In all of this, keep in mind that the point of the Christmas season isn’t to purchase the coolest presents or win a decorating contest. The purpose is to celebrate the coming of Jesus:
“The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death, a light has dawned. For to us a child is born, to us a son is given. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” [from Isaiah 9:2 and 6]

The coming of our Savior is worth celebrating! Just keep your focus on Jesus, and you can experience His peace in a busy, even expensive, time of year.
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