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Practical tips from a dad for affording Christmas generosity
In his last post, Pastor Dave Bruskas explained why Christmas is a prime time for Christian dads to model generosity toward their family, their church, and the world. In this post, he provides some practical financial tips to help dads afford Christmas generosity.
Being a generous dad during the Christmas season is very rewarding. It’s also very expensive. Few things are more regretful than looking at credit card statements that arrive in January and can’t be paid off for months because of holiday overspending. The warmth of Christmas is long gone once the cold reality of debt settles in.
It’s easiest to remember the true cost of Christmas on December 26th.
Going into debt is never a good way to express your generosity. Generosity should always be costly, but never be compromising. Practically, this means that like all other major purchases or investments, it is best to budget for Christmas on a year-round routine schedule.
Save a little at a time
Begin by setting a total balance of how much you want to spend at Christmas in order to be generous. It’s easiest to remember the true cost of Christmas on December 26th, and then you have a full twelve months to set aside funds to pay for next Christmas.
Being a generous dad during the Christmas season is very rewarding. It’s also very expensive.
Divide the total amount by twelve and put aside this amount every month, beginning in January, so that when December rolls around, you will have funds available to pay for Christmas as you go. This will keep you from incurring debt and subsequent interest, which makes the cost of Christmas grow with time. Then be both creative and disciplined during the holiday season to stay within your total budget.
Christmas in March, August, and October
Another strategy is to buy gifts as you go throughout the year. This allows you to watch carefully for sales items and look for good values. It also enables you to spread out the cost of Christmas in a prorated way so you avoid a big hit in December. You can also combine this with the saving strategy suggested above to maximize value.
Money, Christmas, and worship
Finally, understand the connection between money, Christmas, and worship. Money is nothing more than a currency with which to worship Jesus, and Christmas gives a unique opportunity to focus even more on him whose birth we celebrate. If our financial planning and preparation, or lack thereof, makes money the priority during Christmas, we miss the mark entirely. We are worshiping money instead of Jesus.
Money is nothing more than a currency with which to worship Jesus.
If the way we spend money makes Christmas the priority over Jesus, we make the birthday a bigger deal than the person whose birth we celebrate, and we worship a holiday instead of Jesus.
But if we manage our money in a way that makes the most of Jesus during the holiday season, then we have experienced the true meaning of Christmas! We have used money at Christmas to worship Jesus.
What practical steps can you take to be generous and honor Jesus with your money this Christmas?