“All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.” Psalm 25:10
The words “mercy” and “truth” are often thrown around in our household, and I couldn’t help but relate them to finances and Christmas. I know, I know, money’s not a fun thing to talk about during Christmas, but no other time of year is more geared to get you to spend often, quickly, and without putting much thought to your purchases. It’s sooo hard to be purposeful with your spending this time of year!
Before you begin your shopping, or right now – whichever comes first, take some time to evaluate the truth of where your family is at financially. Was this a good money year, or have times been tough? Keep in mind the little saying, “if you don’t have the money, don’t buy it”. Sit down with your husband and set up a budget for gifts, and record your spending to keep yourself accountable. No matter how much you want to give to someone else, if you don’t have money in the first place, you really shouldn’t do it. Get honest with yourself about where you are at this year.
Next, give yourself some mercy! If times are tough, excuse yourself from the extras that you normally do. Simplify your gift giving. Eat a low cost menu for the month of December (think beans and rice!), buy used, craft your gifts, or simply ask to be excused from gift exchanging due to your financial straits. Most often, people will be glad to give you the gift of mercy during a hard time. Often what we want to give doesn’t match our ability to give it. Be careful that you don’t get caught up in the fun and excitement of the season and have remorse later for your financial expenditures.
I hope that you will remember to have a little mercy and truth in your holiday spending this year. Perhaps it might just save you from spending two cents too many this Christmas!