One More Christmas Question
Across the nation, husbands and wives are hanging garland around their homes, tromping through the woods to chop down perfect trees, and digging out dusty boxes of twinkle lights. And as they do so (or sometime before or sometime after), there are two questions they’re asking each other.
Lovingly, genuinely interested, and with ornament hooks snagged in their sleeves, they ask their spouse, “What do you want this year?” Along with, “How much should we spend on each other?”
They’re important questions, because of the happiness they can bring when gifts are exchanged—all smiles and jaw-dropped expressions—as well as the grief they can lead to for weeks and months and years to follow.
Grief, yes. Far too many of us know the grief that can follow. It’s the worst kind of grief, because it’s the kind that can be avoided by daring to ask ourselves one more Christmas question: Can we really afford all this?
A fifth of everything, one out of every five items we buy, is more than we can afford. And we’re adding interest on top of that, living more and more on borrowed dimes, and yet we’re still signing up for mountains of new credit cards each December.
This Christmas, consider lowering the spending limit. And if you need to, return some of the gifts you’ve already bought. You can still return the lavish item for one that doesn’t take your budget over the edge. You love your spouse; you want them to know how much. That’s why if you’re in debt this year, maybe the best thing you and your spouse can do for Christmas is decrease the financial strain in your marriage and increase your chances of winning at home.