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Category:  Christmas

Related Links:  | HolidaysHalloweenChristmasGifts |  Seasonal Decorating Savings |

Christmas, Happiness, and Money

By Nikki Willhite

www.allthingsfrugal.com

 

There is a lot of temptation during this holiday season (which seems to begin earlier each year) to spend money, even if we don't have it. I know from the letters that I receive that some people have feelings of inadequacy or sadness that they are not able to give their children the kinds of presents that they see other children receiving.
 
This is a good time to step back, time out, and think about money and the role that money has when it comes to our personal happiness, and the well being of our families.
 
Money does not make a person happy...period! Lack of money can make one miserable, but money does not make you happy. It may bring a temporary euphoria, but it does not last.
 
Do you remember ever really wanting something that cost money? Do you remember how excited you were when you got it? How long did that feeling last?
 
I remember how excited I was when we purchased our first home. I thought I would be on 'Cloud 9' forever.  I still remember waking up the day after we moved into that house, walking down the hallway, looking into the living room, and thinking "so what?"
 
I surprised myself by my reaction. It was so strong and vivid that I remember it to this day. Yes, we had a house, but none of the important things had changed. A hug by my 2-year-old son wasn't any sweeter in that house than it had been in our apartment.
 
This is not to say that home ownership is not a worthy goal and good for our financial stability and prosperity. When we can take control of our finances and not have them control us, we free ourselves to spend our time in more meaningful ways.
 
I was lucky when I was young to have the choice to stay home and raise my sons. I treasure every moment of time I spent with them. There isn't anything- and I mean anything- that I could have done that would have been more meaningful to me, or is worthy to be compared to that great blessing.
 
In today's world, a lot of women are not so fortunate. It is very difficult to live on one income. I wonder how my sons will manage when their wives stop working. It is not so easy today.
 
This Christmas, I encourage you to place your family's welfare above the pressures of the season to spend money. If you have it, great. If not, do not feel badly. Do the best you can.
 
If you are struggling financially, whether it is your fault or not, just turn your ship in the right direction, and do your best. The sun is still going to come up tomorrow and shine on you, no matter what your financial situation. Just do the best you can, and take comfort and peace of mind from that.
 
If you are unwillingly forced to work outside the home because of your financial situation, remember this. Children are a lot smarter than we give them credit for. They know your heart. They can tell if you are working to provide for your family's needs, or if you are working to get away from them, or to buy a luxury items.
 
If they don't know it now, they will someday. I have seen many a grown man's eyes well up with tears as he talked about how his mother had to work to help pay the family bills.
 
Put your family first this Christmas. Take strength in your faith. Follow the road that will lead you to true happiness. Do not let lack of money deprive you of the Joy of this Holiday Season.
 
As I have written in the past, Christmas is for the frugal.
 
Be positive, be happy, and stand firm against all who would entice you to spend beyond your means.
Happy Holidays

 

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