The holiday debt mentality has always baffled me. People use their credit cards or sign up for new ones and spend more money than they have simply to perpetuate a habit of living where things are more important than people. Why do so many do this?
I see the commercials on television every day offering credit cards and layaways and other ways for people to get into more debt. Everything is telling the populous to “Buy! Buy! Buy!” Americans (I can’t speak for other countries) spend far more than they can truly afford because they have been taught to believe that the holidays are about possessions, and that they must supply better offerings that their competitors (family).
When will people wake up and end the cycle of greed? Why would anyone willingly charge items they can’t afford? “I can pay for it later.” some say. But if you can’t pay for it now, why get it? Why incur debt? Does it make you happy? Does the feeling of giving really outweigh the stress of shopping and buying and then spending the rest of the year paying? Do the people in your life really need more things?
I’m glad that my own family, at least some of them, are veering away from the “things” mentality. Many are wanting consumables or handmade items. They don’t expect anyone to spend money they don’t have. I’m probably going to shock them all because I’m doing gifts for every single person this year. But I’m not spending more than I can afford, and I’m making everything by hand. It’s about the love and the joy of giving, not adding another thing to someone’s ever-growing pile of things.
Even outside the holidays I’m of the belief that if you can’t afford it now, don’t buy it until you can. I had a credit card once and I’m glad to be rid of it. I never want another. I prefer to be free of the temptation to spend more than I have. I believe that people should not try to live above their means. I also believe that holidays and birthdays should be more about love and family than stuff. Stuff is nice, but no one should go into debt to give someone more possessions.