Myth: Children need expensive gifts for Christmas to be happy.
Truth # 1: Small children will be equally happy with gifts in your price range, unless they have been previously spoiled.
Example: My three-year-old daughter hand-picked one of her gifts–a toy from the thrifts store for less than a dollar. Her excitement grew as she helped me wrap gift after gift for herself and for others. (She loves tape!) I cleverly shopped at deep discounts earlier in the year, before holiday fever hit the stores. Archangela will be very pleased on Christmas morning!
Truth # 2: Older children should have a clear understanding of finances.
Whether your income is $20,000 or $200,000 please use your influence and train them to be wise–for life. If they want something out of their price range; offer to pary a partial amount as their Christmas gift; they will gain work ethic and budgeting skills as they pay the rest. If your children expect you to buy out of your budget, then it is time to share a vital life-lesson with them. It is for your own future, but even more so for the decisions your children will make for the rest of their lives.
Example: As a child, I was well aware of my parents position. They didn’t lack money; they simply chose to invest it in ministry overseas. What a great legacy! (You may follow my mom’s story @ marthatowner.blogspot.com)
When I didn’t get what I wanted, I was trained to find ways to earn the money. At thirteen, with my mother’s encouragement, I created accessories to be sold at local clothing stores. My brother Dan also joined me in similar ventures. This is also a great legacy! As an adult, when I lack the money for a need or a want, I automatically think of how to ‘raise’ the money. I’m good at it. I enjoy earning treats that were not previously in my budget!
Necessity is the mother of invention, right? So don’t spoil it. And don’t spoil your kids. And please don’t spoil your bank account.
Have a very joyful Christmas! Enjoy the poinsettias and your coffee in the company of your loved ones!