Christmas Spending Spree?

(Remember, if you’re here just for the deals you can skip on past this for the bargains ~ I promise not to be offended!) πŸ™‚

Time for a break from hunting down the deals and a real heart-to-heart about this Christmas stuff. As I’ve posted at least a jillion (ummm. . . what feels like a jillion?) Christmas toy, video game, and electronics deals, I’m still reminded of what we really need Christmas to be for our family. I absolutely love Christmas, can’t wait for Santa to “surprise” my kids with gifts underneath the tree, and even at a whopping 37-years-old (yikes!), my child-like heart has yet to make it through a single Christmas Eve with even a wink of sleep.

I’m just too excited about the wonder of it all.

That however doesn’t mean that Christmas at our home looks like Santa dumped the entire North Pole underneath our tree. Instead, it means my kids come downstairs absolutely delighted by their stockings (which usually include candy, a new toothbrush & toothpaste, some fancy post-it notes, and a baseball card or play-do if they’re lucky), and then hurry to see if the fairy wings they requested actually made it down the chimney. They can’t wait to start Christmas breakfast when we’re finished un-wrapping, and know that some Happy Birthday Jesus cake will end the meal. It’s a really, really wonderful day.

Of course, my kids are getting older. My oldest at twelve definitely gets that Christmas here at our house will never be what it is down the street. I don’t know quite how much that bothers him (hopefully he won’t be in therapy for years?), but he won’t be getting $199 Beats Headphones, a fancy phone, or even any of the high-end video games I’ve posted here. It’s not because we can’t afford it, or think any of it’s awful (at all!), it’s just because they don’t need it, absolutely can’t appreciate it, and it isn’t where we’ve chosen for our hard-earned dollars to go.

This year, he’s dreaming of a crazy-fancy pair of basketball shoes that I think are absolutely ridiculous, but my hubby’s on his side, so we’ll see. πŸ™‚ Trying not to keep up with everyone around us is hard, but I really do want my kids to understand there are so many out there who have nothing. . . and something just seems wrong for my kids to have thousands spent on them when there are those in other parts of the world who’ll go without this Christmas.

Please don’t go beyond your budget this Christmas to “make” Christmas for your children. Instead, make Christmas by creating special memories, choosing a few very special gifts just for them, and warming your home by the kindness of your heart instead. (Can I just tell you how much I need to work on that one myself?) Especially if your children are little, think small because it’s just so much easier to stick with when you start the way you mean to go on. (We’ve messed up so much as parents, but I’m so thankful my husband was wise enough to decide that for our family when our babies were tiny!)

Trust that Christmas will be just enough, and remind your children (and yourself) what this whole Christmas thing is all about. I promise . . . they’ll really be okay (or maybe they’ll be sitting right next to mine in therapy for years. . .) πŸ˜‰

And on a very short side note, I struggle CONSTANTLY with posting so many deals encouraging you to “buy-buy-buy” all the great deals this Christmas, however, it is what allows me to do this work each day. I pray that you’ve created a budget, and use discernment as you purchase. (I also work very hard to only post legitimate deals… so if you’re looking for a deal, know that I’ve done the research to make sure these are the lowest prices out there!) Thanks for your support of PPP ~ I really couldn’t do it without you.

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  1. lottie wilson says:

    I totally agree with you although i tend to go over board at Christmas only because they dont et what they want throughout the year. We cant afford to get them certain things so we do make it happen at Christmas. Although we do keep up with the “jones'” i do agree that life nor Christmas is about all of that. I do other things to install the goodness of giving in my children such as donating to toys for tots. We are also taking a boat load of stuff to a struggling family we know. Anyway, good article and LOL at therapy!

  2. Well said. I really do appreciate all of your hard work in sharing great deals with us.

  3. Thank you Laurie for your words and all that you do all the days of the year so that we can save money each and every day that we choose to do the work.

    You know personally that I struggle with Christmas – I WON’T spend more than I budgeted anymore and I WILL GIVE a percentage of that budget to people that aren’t on our Christmas list. I want to do away with idols, whether it’s the idol of consuming or the idol of under-spending for the sake of making a statement. Ugghhh! I fill three boxes each for my children and so does Santa so I want to stop just filling boxes. I want to not just spend less but give better.

    Thanks so much for getting us thinking about these things! Truly you are a blessing!

    • Lana – you k now you’re the one who makes me think about this stuff more than anyone else! πŸ™‚ It’s so hard to figure out how to walk that tight-rope of giving to our own and giving to others…. like you I want my kids to enjoy the little things, but not everything! Thanks so much for your sweet encouragement! πŸ™‚

  4. Laurie, I’m not sure you realize what a blessing you are to so many people. Please never feel bad for posting a deal because you think you’re encouraging us “…to β€œbuy-buy-buy”…” You are simply doing what good friends do – pass along the great deals you find; it’s up to us to decide whether or not we take advantage of it. I have never felt that you encourage us to spend-spend-spend.

    Now, I do feel that you encourage us to be wise and to remember what’s truly important in life. Plus, I love the fact that you take Sundays off (and other special days) to be with your family. Β I love how you remind us that God is the only “deal” worth rushing out to get – how you gently and lovingly share your passion for Him is pretty awesome!Β 

    I’ve been reading your blog for…well, I can’t remember how long, but for so long that I feel as if you are my friend. You are by far my favorite blogger out there…why else would I travel a little over an hour to a coupon class that I really didn’t need? It was to simply meet you and say,”Thank you.” (yep…I was that crazy person!). Have a blessed day.

    • Angela – I love when you comment because I always remember you coming to the class (and I still feel so humbled that you were willing to drive all that way to hear a bunch of crazy couponers!) Thank you soooo much for your kind words and support, they mean so very much to me and I appreciate it more than you know. (And I’m the same way, I feel like an old friend is commenting whenever I see your name!) πŸ™‚

  5. Very well said! Thanks for taking the time to post this. I agree with so much of what you said! πŸ™‚

  6. Amie Helms says:

    I totally agree with you Laurie! I took our youth group from church downtown to a homeless shelter a couple of weeks ago. We passed out food and clothes, jackets, toiletries, etc. to the homeless. What a humbling experience it was for me and the youth. Its easy to lose focus this time of year, with everything you think you need to buy or what your kids have to have. I am trying to teach my kids how blessed they really are. We did the Operation Christmas child at church as well and I took my oldest (6) shopping with me. She couldn’t believe that someone really didn’t have a toothbrush. I am hoping that starting this young with her that she will grow up and appreciate the things she does have and not try to keep up with what everyone else has. I hope you and your family have a blessed Christmas. Jesus is the real reason for the season and we wouldn’t be here it wasn’t for him.

  7. We have always limited Santa to 3 gifts per kid at our house. That is the number of gifts brought to baby Jesus by the wise men. Of course they get way too much from relatives and a gift from mom & dad so it is not like they go lacking! The 3 gifts rule keeps me In control when shopping and keeps their requests and expectations reasonable. Thanks for helping us stay on budget with all you do via this ministry!

  8. So many have already said it so well, but sometimes affirmation in numbers is encouraging. Since I have a resounding “amen” to the above posts, I’ll add that I have felt like I’m on a spending spree the last week, BUT it’s a great one! I plan for gifts I anticipate throughout the next year/months (many birthdays in our family are clustered in the first six months of the year) by picking up small items that make great gifts for the birthday party we were just invited to etc so we CAN live within our means. I appreciate your diligent work- and this truly is a ministry! Thank you!

  9. Jennifer G. says:

    Thank you for your hard work in sharing the real deals you find. I sure appreciate it!

    As for Christmas spending, I definitely agree to “start as you plan to go”. It’s tempting to go all out, but then you’re setting that stage for the future. Personally, my kids get super excited about anything! I could wrap up a 6 pack of Coke and they would think they’ve hit jackpot! Granted, my oldest is 8 yrs old….so I’m sure the future may hold bigger desires, but for now, I soak up their appreciate and excitement in whatever finds itself under the tree!

  10. As always, I love reading your “Random Ramblings”. I was actually surprised to read that James is all for the basketball shoes! I think that’s so cute!

  11. Lisa Scott says:

    Thank you so much for such a thoughtful reminder. This is why I love PPP.
    Thank you for your faithfulness and thank you for your faith.
    Its a wonderful blessing to those of us who read your posts regularly.
    Keep up the good work and Merry Christmas πŸ™‚

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