HOW TO HONOR THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS WITHOUT INCREASING YOUR DEBT LOAD

 

 

THE YUCK GIFTS

How many of you admit to regifting?   You know the gifts when you open a package and your first thought can never be uttered in front of your Mom. So you flip it over a few times trying to guess what’s in the package when you finally come across the name tag and AH HA, you were right.  It’s from your in law!  Meanwhile you sent him or her a $60 bottle or perfume or cologne last week that you could barely afford.

While you can seldom, or should never regift a hideous gift (with exception to your useless cousin who still owes you $$$$) why are you adding $1,000 + to your poor almost maxed out credit cards?  The average American spends a little over $1,000 on Christmas gifts and yet 40+% cannot afford a $400 emergency. As Mr. Spock would say “Illogical Captain.”

COMMERCIALIZATION OF CHRISTMAS 

In the past, Christmas was commercialized by malls and stores across the country. Today, 82% of shoppers buy one or more gifts online thanks to the King of Sales – Amazon.  However, the gifts that truly matter are spending time with those we cherish and love.

BUT DO NOT SPOIL IT FOR THE KIDS!

Clearly this short MONSTER deserves a train car loaded with coal!  But for the good short people they deserve some holiday fun!  Why not pool your resources and buy your special little people one or two nice gifts? They do not need to wake up and believe the new and improved Toys R Us has opened a store in their family room!  

THE ADULTS YOU CHERISH

Rather than buying a gift that will ultimately be regifted, tossed in the trash or pile up dust in someones house, give something from your heart that will remind the person how much you care. 

GIFTS THAT WILL NOT FURTHER SINK THAT CREDIT SCORE!

LETTERS

For those who are clueless, you have to write these on a piece of paper and snail mail it or hand deliver.  It is not a tweet, text, email, facebook post, but heartfelt written words, expressing your affection, love and gratitude for this person.  Yes, you read the above correctly, in your own handwriting.  With one exception – when people say you write like a doctor, even if you ARE a doctor, that is NOT a compliment.  If your handwriting resembles above, you may use your computer to type and print your letter.  But PLEASE at the minimum sign your own name!

HOBBIES

I have a friend that does absolutely beautiful woodwork.  If you are talented and can knit, sew, woodworking, etc, make a handmade gift they will appreciate and remember you each time they wear or use it.

PHOTOGRAPHY 

Since most of us carry a smart phone at all times, we snap 1000’s of photos annually.  Pick out.a picture that someone special would like as a keepsake.  Enlarge and frame it.  You can also be more artistic and print on glass or metal.  Search Groupon for coupons that can save you 80% or more of the cost of going to Costco or Walmart.  

http://www.groupon.com/deals/n-printerpix-personalized-photos-on-metal?utm_campaign=UserReferral_mih&utm_source=undefined

I used to make my Mom an annual photo calendar and she would show everyone the monthly photos of her kids and grands.  You can do this inexpensively at Walgreens, Walmart, Costco, Apple, etc.

COOKING

So you make a mean fruitcake.  No jokes out there about fruitcake.  My Mom cooked a smack your boss, finger licking good fruitcake.  WARNING:  Calories GALORE!! Cooking someones’ favorite dish is a great gesture and a fool proof way that your gift won’t go to waste. 

SECRET SANTA GIFTS

My childhood neighbor had ten children.  Imagine having to buy each sibling a gift.  These were the days prior to The Dollar Store!  This is an excellent example of when to use Secret Santa and focus more attention on being with the ones you love.  It does not take a lot of money to make the people you love feel special. In fact it will only cost you gas money!  

 

CONCLUSION

What do the holidays mean to you? Is it the gifts under the tree, the lights in the windows, huge roasted turkey dinners, stockings hanging in the living room? Is this really the meaning?

Many people do not have the extra money to buy presents for their children, family, and friends. Many are saddened when they think of their loved ones who may be stationed overseas in the US Military bravely serving their country.  Bravely protecting us.

If you cannot afford to buy gifts, please do not put additional burdens on your credit cards and potentially further lower your credit score.  The holidays are a time for joy and love and we can give both with zero dollars.  For those of us who can afford expensive gifts consider donating to your local food banks, or Children’s Hospital for presents for sick kids, etc.  I guarantee your generosity will bring joy and happiness to others.

Besides, how many ugly ties or sweaters can you really gift? Seriously, have you ever seen them actually worn? So make the holidays memorable and take lots of pictures for next years gift. Let’s return the sprit of Christmas to the holidays. 

 

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ABOUT ME

I am a proud nerd (as my beautiful wife and daughter have told me) investment and finance blogger, with a NC State, Chemical Engineering, University Rutgers, MBA and Harvard University, Advanced Management education.

I left a corporate career because I had a desire for making a difference as a speaker and writer, to help others. I was blessed to be coached and mentored by strong women and men in both my family and professional life. It is my time to serve and give back.

DISCLAIMER

I started my first business at ~13 years of age (small but brilliantly created plant nursery). I am a successful investor in stocks, options, real estate and happy to share my personal finance and investment lessons learned with you.

However, I am NOT a licensed financialadvisor. Please do not construe my suggestions on this blog, as recommendations for your personal situation. For individual finance advice please seek your own licensed CPA or fiduciary financial advisors.

 

Powers Investments Management, LLC

This blog will provide, information and simple strategies, that will assist you to achieve YOUR financial objectives and long term targets. For over 30 years, I solved multi-million dollar problems, for Fortune 10-250, companies. My formal education includes: Business, Finance and Chemical Engineering {Problem Solving} at: Harvard, Rutgers and North Carolina State. And an additional 30+ years, managing my family’s investment decisions. I currently manage/advise people with net-worths ranging from the tens of thousands to several million dollars.

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