How To Not Overspend On Holiday Shopping | Orlando Family Counseling

Happy Holidays to you and your family from Life Counseling Solutions!

While Christmas is about much more than giving gifts, I want to share some advice and tips with our readers in regards to this wonderful holiday tradition. I remember as a young father wanting to give my children an amazing Christmas full of awesome presents. It was not necessarily a “spare no expense” affair, but I was more than willing to dive into the wonderful credit cards to make things happen that my paycheck at the time would not allow. I simply wanted to spoil my kids and see their eyes light up on Christmas morning. Suffice it to say it is only a couple of years or so removed from that experience and I’m still paying the price! A credit card may very well have its time and place in our lives, but holiday shopping is not one of them. Please do not feel obligated to go out of your financial means to give gifts for your children. I realize this is probably easier said than done; however, when we do this as parents I believe that we give our children unrealistic expectations for future Christmas celebrations to come. Not only that, what we meant for good does end up hurting the whole family in the end. Using credit cards irresponsibly by having a get it now and pay for it later attitude does end up handicapping us financially in the future. I want to encourage you not to go backwards with credit cards this year. Go with what you have and strive to stretch each penny. I think that you will find Christmas morning your children will be overjoyed with what you were able to provide.


And while we are on the topic of presents, I would like to encourage you to think strategically about the types of gifts that you are planning to bring into your children’s lives. Are they gifts that promote their gifts, talents, and abilities? Examples may be a drawing or paint set, an instrument, telescope, baseball glove, soccer ball and goal, or maybe a cookbook and utensils for baking.

Are any educational in nature or promote critical thinking? Buy them a few books that will challenge them spiritually, educationally, and/or intellectually. How about the family gifts that everyone shares? Children love board games! Examples may be “Candy Land”, “Scrabble”, “Checkers”, “Guess Who?”, “Monopoly”, and “Battleship”.

Have you considered purchasing gifts that are not only exciting to open for the child on Christmas morning, but that they also serve a functional purpose? An example of this would be clothes, a pair of shoes or boots, a new bed spread, or rug for their room. Perhaps a new tooth brush, unique pencils, or fun pair of socks in their stockings. These types of gifts are what I call a win-win situation for the parents and the child.

Lastly, now is the time to do a sweep of their room to clean out old toys or clothes that have sort of expired for your child’s age. Donate them to a local charity, Goodwill, neighbor, or possibly fill up one of those Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes with usable toys. These are always great teachable moments for our children when we are able to explain to them the importance of giving back what has been given to us.

Practice these things this holiday season and you are sure to have a simple and blessed Christmas with the ones you love!

scottScott Thigpen believes that people have what it takes to bring about genuine, lasting change in their lives. He is honored and humbled to be invited into an individual’s life to walk alongside them to discover what is holding them back in their life. His passion is to be used by God to help others find their direction toward a fulfilled life.  Scott provides Orlando Men’s Counseling Services at Life Counseling Solutions Read More About Scott…