Christmas, Happiness, and Money
By Nikki Willhite
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
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.
Be positive, be happy, and stand firm against all who
would entice you to spend beyond your means.