But just thinking ahead a little bit, I wanted to get you some advice for what happens after Thanksgiving: the Christmas shopping season begins.
1. Establish a Budget.
You should have a list of people that will receive presents from you.
Determine how much you want to spend on each person and add the amounts to come up with a total figure.
That’s your Christmas gifts budget, meaning you can’t go over that overall amount.
You may also want to establish a budget for items such as Christmas decorations or entertainment (Nutcracker tickets anyone?).
2. Use Cash.
As we have discussed before, cash is king.
Using cash will keep you from overspending, which is easier to do than when you use plastic (either a debit card or credit card).
When your cash is gone, your shopping should stop.
3. Take your Time.
Don’t just wait until Christmas Eve to do all your shopping.
Don’t try to just buy something just to get it done. Give yourself the opportunity to do some comparison shopping and find the good deals that are out there.
4. Leverage Technology.
In these Internet days, search online for the best deals and compare prices. You can also save time if you order items online and avoid the battles for parking and long lines at the mall (provided you give yourself enough time).
Also, take advantage of your smart phone, and look for the best Apps to help you shop during this holiday season.
5. Plan for Next Year’s Christmas.
Ideally, you will be starting your Christmas sinking fund now so you have the cash ready for next year’s expenses.
These few steps will save you a lot of money, a lot of time, and they will reduce your stress levels. Focus on spending good quality time with friends and family.
Don’t let the disease of “more” rob you of having a great Christmas season.
Finally, remember what this season is really all about. It is about celebrating how God reached out to provide for mankind’s greatest need.
God knew we needed a Savior and and He gave us His Son Jesus. If you have not had the opportunity to meet Him, there is no better time than today.
He is all that you will ever need in this life and the next. Let me be one of the first people to say to you: Merry Christmas.
“She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”
Matthew 1:21 (NASB)