It’s that time of the year again. The time were a lot of people spend a ridiculous amount of money on Christmas gifts. “The other day I came across an interesting discussion online about, and I quote: “how can one still safe money? One answer blew me away: “We can barely safe anything. And soon it’s Christmas, which means we have to buy expensive gifts again. I can barely afford it but the people around me always buy expensive gifts so I need to do the same”.
Due to excessive marketing and consumerist minds, our society pictures Christmas as a recurring period where it’s all about the presents. Nowadays, every holiday or day that is even remotely close to a holiday is good enough to brainwash us and make us buy lots and lots of stuff. We truly live above our means. This results in ongoing credit card debt, trapping people in their own invisible jail, also known as the cubicle. But hey… Let’s not miss the HUGE discounts we can get on Black Friday next week!
How to survive the holiday season?
First of all, think about the true meaning of Christmas. It’s a time to be with family and loved ones, to catch up and to reminisce about the passed. A time to be blessed with what you have. Celebrate it with a nice meal, some drinks and a lot of laughter. Ow yeah, and homemade Christmas cookies of course! We can’t forget those… That and watching “home alone” on Christmas day. There’s not a gift in the world that can beat a good memory. However, if you want to buy some gifts, I completely understand.
But why not make something yourself? My girlfriend and I were discussing what we can give our family. She came up with an awesome idea to search for an original recipe (jam or create your own liquor or so) or buy some Belgian beers for the German family. This is fun for us to make, doesn’t cost a fortune and provides the people with something that they can actually use. What’s even more important, it won’t ruin our savings behaviour. While we would actually be capable of spending more money, we still don’t.
Discounts & Saving.
It already happened that we bought each other more expensive gifts, not necessarily for Christmas. The difference is that we save before purchasing a gift and it’s with money we can spend!
Another thing is to plan ahead and make sure you shop around for the best price, a sale or an extra discount voucher. Small bits and pieces will not set you back to much and provide you with the opportunity to express you love/friendship for somebody without spending more than you can.
Peer pressure is bullshit.
If you buy expensive gifts because your family does it as well, there’s something seriously wrong with your relationship. Grow the fuck up and get your priorities straight. Yes you understand me, I can be harsh on this topic and be relentless. If you don’t earn a lot of money, you don’t buy expensive things. You create and be original!
This counts for every gift buying occasion.
I have close family who bought gifts for their children for almost 200€. I think the spending behaviour should be at least adjusted to the actual “pocket” money they have available and not way beyond that. However, the worst part is that the children aren’t even capable of understanding what’s all coming for them. They miss the value of receiving a gift and the result is, a short boost of instance happiness. After an hour they still play with one toy and forget about the rest and after two hours it’s all over. Back to their normal routine. The perfect recipe to grow up and create that same behaviour over and over. Welcome to a world of debt and being stuck in a cubicle. But hey… everybody is doing it so it must be okay.