Should Christmas Come If You’re In Debt?

“The excellence of a gift lies in its appropriateness rather than in its value.” -Charles Dudley Warner

Being in debt impacts every area of your life. And there’s no more monetary holiday than Christmas. It’s supposed to be a religious holiday…a celebration of Christ’s birth. Seldom do we focus on the gift of Christ and focus instead on the precious presents themselves.

I’ve made my list and checked it twice. I’ve decided who to buy for and what they’ll be getting. I do my best to consider each person’s life, not just the item they have written down on a list. I hate buying off lists. It requires no originality, no thought, nothing but cold hard cash.

The best Christmas my family ever had was the year I dictated we give “Gifts from the Hearts” instead of things we could buy. I can still remember the gifts to this day, almost 12 years later. My daughter Candice wrote me a poem titled “Peace”. Here it is.

By Candice Thompson in the year 1999

Peace is visible like the moon on a starry night,
Peace is as warm as when you’re in your mother’s arms,
Peace goes down like a cup of hot cocoa on a cold winter morning,
Peace is encouraging to hear when you’re feeling down and blue,
Peace is as flowing as a beautiful river,
Swish, Swish, Swish.
Peace is like being hugged by a huge teddy bear when you’re scared,
Peace is powerful to people who practice patience,
Peace smells moist and delicate,
Peace is to the soul as love is to the heart.

That Christmas was different from the rest. We had to think. We had to create. We had to do something other than spend an almighty dollar.

And that was the best Christmas of all.

But my question was…should Christmas come if you’re in debt? The answer is definitely YES. This is a time to do some soul searching. What is Christmas all about? What does it really mean to my family? Can I get by on less, and still celebrate a glorious holiday?

Christmas isn’t about stuff. I’m not getting all Scrooge-like and advocating presents be banned. I’m simply lobbying for more substance and less stuff. More together time and less frantic rushing. Fewer gift cards being passed and more truly spiritual moments.

Christmas is about finding what people really need and filling that up. Those are the true gifts. And they haven’t a thing to do with being in debt.

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