I can list a bunch of things that I like about the upcoming holiday. I’m sure each of my readers can too. How could you not? There is so much to like about the Christmas season. Even if you don’t call yourself Christian, and even if you don’t specifically celebrate Christmas, there is just so much good about the season. I was driving around yesterday, looking for a few Christmas gifts for the family, and there was something almost magical about the world in December. Maybe it was because I’m on pretty strong antibiotics, or maybe there was more to it.
The first thing I found was that there were a couple local radio stations that are playing Christmas music full-time till Christmas. I might have had a little overkill on that. There are only so many times one can hear all the different versions of “Let it Snow” during 75 degree weather before one goes a little nuts. But still, listening to good Christmas music is always good.
Second, I like that towns and cities, especially by the shopping centers, “dress up” for the holidays. I know it’s all about commercialism, but seeing giant ornaments or garland hanging from light-polls makes me feel like Christmas.
And as I was making a list of all the things I liked about Christmas, I stopped and realized that Christmas and lists really do go hand in hand with each other.
“He’s making a list, and checking it twice…,”
That is just one example. What about the 12 Days of Christmas? Isn’t that really just a list? Or the song Rudolph? It starts out listing out all the other reindeer. Which all gets me to the finance part of this post.
Especially in a year when money is tight, tighter than normal, tighter (hopefully) than it will ever be again, making a list can save you a lot of money. We all know that there is no shortage of people you want to buy for.
Stores are hurting right now. They want you to spend more money than you might otherwise plan on spending. The government is hurting right now. They want you to spend more money than you can realistically be expected to spend. Don’t do it. In these times, you need to have a plan before you go out and spend one dime.
So this year, do things a little differently. Start by making a list of all the people you have to buy for. Parents, siblings, significant others. Talk to those people about spending. Maybe this year you decide that instead of spending a lot of money on stuff that they really don’t want, you each make a dish for a really nice dinner. Or you limit on the amount you spend. Once you have limited this list down to the bones, start making a list of things to buy. This way, when you go to the stores, you know what you are looking for. This makes for a much less stressful shopping trip. This also allows you to skip over things that “seem” like a “good deal”, which means you get to spend money. Finally, this helps to make sure you don’t forget to buy a gift for someone who is really important to you. I’ve been guilty of this before, and going to the mall the week before Christmas is not fun.
Of course, try to also remember those who can’t afford anything. As tight as money might be for you, there are others out there who literally have nothing. TOYS FOR TOTS is one of the best, most legitimate organizations out there, but there are others as well. You have people out there who love you and want to spend time with you. There are others out there who don’t have that luxury.
So, checking off my list of things to say:
- You better watch out
- You better not cry
- You better not pout
- He sees you when you’re sleeping
- He knows when you’re awake (frightening thought)
- He knows when you’ve been bad or good
So please, be good for goodness sake. Merry Christmas to all!