ICFE eNEWS #09-26 - November 30th 2009
Christmas Giving That Gives In Economic Hard Times
by Jim Garnett, a/k/a Ask Mr. G. and a member of the ICFE's Board of
- It is best to pay for Christmas without using credit. This can be
accomplished by using Christmas clubs, change in a bottle, or buying
gifts little-by-little during the year. This will avoid the "December
demand" on your finances. A couple in my office recently told me they
"did not spend one red cent for Christmas; they put it on the credit
cards!" Unfortunately, this is not an unusual perspective for
- If you do use credit cards, pay off the balance at the end of the
month. A $1000 Christmas charged on credit cards and paid off at monthly
minimum payments will take you eight years and $900 interest to pay off.
That means that little Katie's kindergarten Christmas will be paid off
as she graduates from eighth grade! Not a good practice!
- Determine in advance what you can actually afford to spend for
Christmas. Come up with a dollar amount and stick to it! Impulse buying
usually results in spending more than we should. A certain gift may be
"just perfect" for your friend but that does not mean you can afford to
- Buy a few generic gifts in bulk that can be divided and given to
male or female. Decorative candles, for instance, can be divided,
individually wrapped, and given to separate individuals.
- Remember that Christmas "shopping" is not necessarily synonomous
with Christmas "giving". Some of the most appreciated gifts are those in
which you give of your time and talents. Things like cookies, candies,
free babysitting, or even backrubs make excellent Christmas gifts.
- Don't buy yourself a Christmas gift! Someone calculated that last
year 69% of Americans bought themselves a gift. Focus on Christmas
giving, not Christmas receiving.
- Give a special gift to a needy individual, family, or organization.
It does our hearts good to occasionally give anonymous gifts to those
who can never repay us.
- Invite an away-from-home college student to your home for the
- Send a special Christmas "care package" to a deployed military
- Remember Whose birthday we are celebrating at Christmas. Some
families bake a special birthday cake for Jesus as a reminder of "the
reason for the Season" to their kids and grandkids.
Copyright © 2009 Jim Garnett
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