Have the Courage to have the Christmas You Can Afford

Christmas house lights

I was talking with a group of friends about the upcoming holidays and one said, “I’m so afraid of Christmas. I don’t know how we’re going to afford it and I just know we’re going to end up in financial trouble because of it. It terrifies me, but there’s nothing I can do about it!” The others in the group all chimed in with their own fears and worries, as well.

I sat there listening to the various tales of fear and despair wondering what, exactly, the problem was. It seems simple to me: Have the Christmas you can afford. If you’re strapped for cash say, “No” early and often. Enjoy what you can comfortably do and let the rest go. Pro


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8 Responses to Have the Courage to have the Christmas You Can Afford

  1. princessperky says:

    It does take courage, and it can be done. And it does get easier each year…IMO when you reduce the expectations of ‘stuff’ you have more time for the well time spent on the holiday. Time with the kids, the nieces, and so one is worth so much more than money spent on them.

    Now if only I could forgive myself for still not making a gingerbread house…

  2. Minimum Wage says:

    The Christmas I can afford is zero, and that’s what I am going to have. That doesn’t even require any courage.

  3. Sara says:

    I hope those who want their funds to count these holidays will consider giving GIVING CERTIFICATES, good for any charity. The recipient gets “The joy of giving” to the nonprofit they choose.

    Your GIFT money can also be GIVING MONEY. A billion dollars will be spent on GIFT certificates that buy goods, these nonprofit gifts can DO good.


  4. Iamcheap says:

    I think there is a certain amount of vanity that people think other people just won’t have a good holiday without their Christmas card or holiday party. Let’s face it, most of us would welcome one less social obligation during the holidays and does anyone really read those letters? Your friends need to get over themselves and realize they are not the center of everyone’s universe.

  5. I think it’s easier said than done not to over spend at Christmas. It’s the time of year when you are expected to buy presents. If you have children they have high expectations of What Santa is going to bring them and its easy to disappoint and ruin Christmas. With the rest of the family and friends it’s a lot easier to plan ahead and say we are not buying presents for any adults well in advance of christmas so you don’t get a present in return and feel pressured into buying them something.

  6. princessperky says:

    Who on earth gave the kids the idea that some mythical creature could come up with unlimited supply of cash for real presents anyway?… mythical story..not equal to real presents..sorry.

    Mom Dad, take responsibility, don’t lie, tell the kids you have to pay for presents, and tell them what you can afford…take the list and point out things that are pretty nifty, but out of reach..come up with a few of your own nifty wishes you know you wont get this year..then sit down and come up with a few things you want that are affordable and see if they can’t also, if not…try again, and again, and again..your kid, your responsibility to teach them some of life’s realities …and yes, the reality is we can’t all afford endless supplies of gifts…Of course if you try, Christmas can be so much more than gift giving.

  7. Free From Broke says:

    One theme that seems to come through at holiday time is ME, ME, ME. Why do we have to buy presents for the extended family? So they like and think of ME. Why do we host so many parties? So people like ME. Why do we send out cards giving everyone an update of our lives? So people remember ME! This sounds like the complete opposite of what these holidays seem to represent.

    It’s tough going against social pressure but it most definitely can be done!

    I like the idea of giving to charity in people’s names. That seems more in the spirit of things.

  8. dragonmouse says:

    My husband and I decided last year to buy gifts only for the children in our families, which includes our son and several nieces and nephews under the age of 12. We’re doing the same thing this year and let our families know we would not be exchanging gifts with the adults. My mother and sister complained that Christmas “wasn’t any fun” last year.

    Fastforward to yesterday, when I went shopping with my mother and sister. I bought gifts for 8 children and spent $250, which was my budget. My mother was appalled and couldn’t believe I could be so “cheap” for the holidays. Call it cheap if you want to. I call it spending money saved specifically for that purpose and way less stressful than watching all those credit card bills roll in in January. We get some flack for our decision, but we’re sticking to it. This is by far the best way for us to survive the holidays with our sanity and finances intact.

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