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Costly Christmas

Is Christmas too costly? The average American will spend more than $800.00 on Christmas this year, according to the CNN Financial Network. Is this too much? Are there ways to cut costs and still celebrate Christmas?

There is no way to answer those questions without first coming to grips with what you want to accomplish this Christmas. Exorbitant spending will be necessary if your goal is to impress people, but modest spending is sufficient to express your appreciation or affection for your friends and family.

This Christmas, my goal is, "to celebrate Jesus's birth by worshiping with my Church, and cherishing my family. I will express my love by giving of my time, attention and gifts."

In making out your gift list, don't neglect non monetary expressions of your love. Wives, would you like to get a love letter from your husband attached to his gift to you? Children, would you like to get an entire afternoon of your Dad's time? Husbands, would you like a romantic evening with your wife? Friend, would you like an after Christmas breakfast with your special friend?

I don't know about you, but these gifts sound more appealing to me than "Tickle-me-Elmo," a "pet rock" or "Star-Wars Monopoly." Get creative--your time is more valuable than money.

The two busiest days in retails stores each year are the day after Thanksgiving and the day after Christmas. After Thanksgiving, people are shopping for presents--after Christmas, they are returning them. Give a nonreturnable gift; give of yourself.

By the way, if how much money people spend at Christmas shocked you, this next statistic will absolutely floor you. The New York times recently reported that the typical Church member gives less than $500.00 a year to their Church. Can you believe that most people, in celebrating Jesus' birth, spend more on presents for one day than they give to the Lord's work all year round?

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