Christmas always presents me with a few conundrums, generally arising from opposing desires and certain moral dictates by which I try to live my life. Really what I am saying is, the dilemma is regarding how much to spend and what to buy for my children for Christmas.
I’d love to go crazy over-the-moon and get fabulous presents. Wow everyone. Wow myself! My credit card company would be delighted and would probably oblige. And if they didn’t I have no doubt I could find one that would. My husband and credit score - maybe not so much on the delight part.
Then again, I’d like my family to focus on the meaning of Christmas, and not get hung up on what Santa is trying to squeeze down our non-existent chimney. Also, Ben’s feelings aside, I really don’t want to be paying for Christmas in July. It’s against my money ethic. I am always annoyed at my credit union when I get their annual “spend away on a new line of credit and happy holidays!” letter.
I find that even on years that are more skimpy, Christmas morning has a way of ending with a gluttonous feel. Despite my worry of not having enough and getting a few fillers at the last minute, my children have lost interest in half of their presents as soon as they’re opened and I know the truth: they don’t need that much to have a good Christmas.
What do you do to balance the wow-factor and the practical and spiritual side of spending for Christmas gifts? How do you handle your kids wish lists? What do you do so that you don’t have to loosen your financial belt to handle an ever-expanding debt-line? How do you teach your kids that the giving, not the receiving is the more important part?
These are not rhetorical questions stewing in my brain. I want to know.