From Incoming BYTES we hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!
This year I discovered that carefully exploring the market a few days ahead of the holiday itself, specifically without buying anything at all, paid off. It actually made it easier to go out and buy something, a specific something, even during those last commercially-pumped, frenetic days just before Christmas.
Maybe taking “ Time for a Last Minute Christmas Reality Check” wasn’t such a bad concept. It somehow seemed more logical to buy a planned present rather than “just go shopping and buy on impulse”. It seemed to be a better idea to stay focused than just wander, somewhat stunned by hype and hurry, into commercial traps aimlessly, one after the other.
In practice, it did seem easier to stay focused on the job at hand and actually resist the distraction of commercial Christmas hype --than it had in previous years.
The net result? A surprising reduction in spending of approximately 50% occurred. Less money was spent foolishly on impulse. Less money was spent foolishly to quell imaginary last minute shopping “gift size” anxiety. Fewer dollars were spent on unnecessary purchases. Perhaps less money was even used to soothe guilt anxiety left over from last year.
Best of all, there IS far less debt to face in January.
I wonder if there is a genuinely profitable object lesson to be considered here? Was this a personal best borne of rebellion, because of meticulous planning and logic, or just skepticism and recognition of the fact that unfair and overbearing commercial retailing practices are exacting a terrible toll on society under the guise of a "holiday"?
Let’s try this on for size. The plan resulted in more thoughtful presents, less stress, an intact bank account and best of all, fewer bills to deal with. I did not spend money I do not have. I did not spend next month’s mortgage payment, rent, or grocery money pretending to be Santa.
The big question is, did it detract from the fun and enjoyment of the season itself? Happily, no!
Rejoice! It seems that either we have an improved Christmas shopping strategy, --or have just become older and wiser.