If the following sentence sets off high anxiety in your life, this post is for you. It is November and Christmas is next month. Do you want to join the spirit of the season but the debt from last Christmas still plagues you? Does the memory of last January’s credit card statement set off heart palpitations? Do you think your only choice is to slump your shoulders, grab your plastic and trudge off to do your duty? Is Christmas no longer fun for you?
STOP! You have other choices! Today…right now…make the “no debt” resolution for this year. Don’t allow yourself to be pressured, trapped, goaded or guilted into spending money you don’t have. “How can I do this?” you are thinking. “My kids expect Christmas gifts. My family will have a gift exchange. Others are spending money on me.”
This year try substituting creativity for debt. Once you have drawn the “no debt” line in the sand, your creative juices will begin to flow. Here are some thoughts that really just scratch the surface of creative debt free gifts.
- Do you sew? How about personalized aprons? Janice makes not only aprons, but purses, pillows, laundry bags and “woobies” (you will have to ask).
- Can you crochet? An afghan or some potholders make great gifts. We always cherished the homemade afghans Janice’s Aunt Diddie used to make for us.
- How about decoupage? Try a jewelry box or fancy picture frame.
- Woodworking? Build a toolbox or a candle holder. My brother in law recently reminded me of a storage box I made for his Coleman lantern many years ago. I had forgotten, but he still remembered…and he still uses it.
- No inspiration so far? Pictures of family, children or grandchildren mounted in inexpensive frames make great gifts. One of my sons photoshops photos into amazing creations as gifts. These are always treasures.
- How about the gift of time? Make a hand printed certificate offering free babysitting or raking leaves or washing windows (hint to my kids). How about a special day alone with your daughter or a fishing trip with your son?
- Can you write? Take the time to put in writing what you appreciate about your husband, wife, mom, dad, son, daughter…you get the point, but wouldn’t you love receiving such a heart felt letter? So would your loved ones.
This is the year to avoid debt and actually enjoy the spirit of the season. Will your friends and family understand? Probably not. Do you owe them an explanation? No, but if they ask, smile serenely and say, “We are living within our means this year.” Who knows? Maybe your good sense will inspire some sanity in others.
One thing is certain: you will be able to breathe easy when that January credit card statement arrives.