Thanksgiving is this week and what does that mean for America? We are already focused on Christmas consumerism. We are getting ready to honor the incarnation of God himself by going into debt up to our eyeballs. Dangerous stampedes will happen all over our country on Friday to obtain gadgets before others do on the cusp of a day to celebrate gratefulness to what we already have.
Maybe there is a different way.
Before going shopping on Black Friday, I want to offer you a few tips:
- Money can’t buy me love. Dollar signs doesn’t reveal dedication. Don’t overspend on everyone on your list.
- No courtesy shopping. If someone is on your shopping list just because you think you will be on theirs, that is a horrible mistake. That’s the antithesis of thoughtfulness.
- Give creatively. Instead of another tie or cook book or gadget, what if you got creative and made something? Wrote something? Made a video? What if you gave something that showed your feelings rather than just hitting a certain price line? Check out this great ministry’s ideas for giving yourself this Christmas – Advent Conspiracy.
- Make an overall budget. Before you start buying, do some work in your bank accounts and decide the maximum number you will spend this season before you buy one thing. Decide if you will spend $50, $200, $500, or whatever amount you think is wise and good stewardship and make that your top overall number for your entire shopping group.
- Make an individual budget. Don’t just start swiping the plastic and not thinking about what you are doing. Our family makes a spreadsheet with everyone we intend to buy for. Here’s how the columns look: 1) names of people, 2) item we plan on making or purchasing, 3) realistic dollar amount of all involved. If we are over on our overall budget number, we have to cut out somewhere.
Hope this list helps. Don’t make mistakes that cost you all year round and don’t get caught up in what our country says is celebrating Christmas. I’m not anti-gifts, but I am anti-materialism.
It’s not wise to celebrate the One who came to free us from consumerism by becoming enslaved in debt. Shop safely.
The rich rule over the poor,
and the borrower is servant to the lender. -Prov. 22:7