Love and money should be mutually exclusive concepts at any time, and especially at Christmas. You don’t have to spend money to show someone that you love or care about them. You, your presence in the moment, your willing engagement and a genuine smile will be the best gift you have ever given.
There is no need for a pile of expensive gifts. For anyone over the age of twelve, Christmas is not about presents so there should be a reduced need for expensive, guilt-fuelled shopping expeditions.
The final week store rush is nothing but stress. Crowds, lack of parking, high prices and poor spending discipline generally don’t make for a happy holiday period.
On the other hand, relaxation, peacefulness and humanity are the makings of a much more enjoyable Christmas day, and when combined with a budget lunch, can create some much loved traditions and great memories.
Also if you keep a lid on your spending, your Merry Christmas won’t turn into an unhappy new year when your credit card statement arrives. And you won’t be facing the New Year in turmoil.
As I am writing this, my wife and daughter-in-law are sitting in the cool air-conditioning having fun making the most beautiful handmade decorations from simple A4 printer paper. A little paint and sparkles from the local craft shop and we have the best looking Chrissy decorations ever.
I know from experience that my financial advice and assistance work starts in January when two powerful forces combine. They are debt regret from excessive Christmas spending and the resolution to turn over a new leaf as 2017 unfolds.
Not everyone will change. For most, their resolutions will simply evaporate into lost wishes as work and home routines take over. Humans excel at habit behaviour even when their habits are bad habits, so most will manage to slide by as they have always done.
But a few will stick it out for longer and start to see the benefits of their new financial resolution.
It is those few I will be there for, to help, advise and encourage.
I would love it if you were one of them.