Eye-opening at best, this infographic is a telling tale of what the average North American family’s Christmas spending looks like over the holidays. In an age where it’s so easy to get caught up in the hype and glitter of the commercialism related to Christmas, spending too much can often be a byproduct.
My hope is that you gave strategic thought to the “why” of your Christmas spending, and not just the “what”…
- Did it broaden your horizons or those of a loved one? Or, did it cause you or them to focus more narrowly self-ward?
- Did it generate positive memories and bring your family closer together? Or, did it drive a wedge into your relationships?
- Did it bring richness, meaning, or fulfillment to others? Or, did it serve to pull down, degrade, or otherwise leave you or others looking for more?
Here we are now, more than halfway through January; how quickly we forget about “peace on earth” and “good will toward men.” It’s almost as if we believe these notions are meant only to receive a seasonal nod. After 4 or 5 weeks of hearing them mentioned in carols or seeing them displayed on ornately painted decorations on our Christmas tree, they are briskly packed away with all the other accoutrements of Christmas.
But these are the ultimate reason for Christmas: peace on earth and good will toward all men, “for unto you, this day, is born a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” As we all went through the checkout line at Walmart leading up to Christmas, with our carts piled high, we weren’t reminded by the cashier that the reason we give gifts at Christmas is for the symbolism and commemoration of the gifts Jesus Christ received on the first Christmas night so many years ago.
What about you? Was your family’s Christmas spending above or below the average? What was it focused on?
Christmas Spending by the Numbers…
This past Christmas morning, my wife’s parents started a new tradition. I’ve always been very thankful for and humbled by their generosity, they opted to give less gifts to us and the rest of the family and instead give three gifts on behalf of the family through non-profits and their local church. The positive effect is intended to be felt on three different levels: locally, nationally, and globally.
As my children grow up, I’m excited about what this new tradition will do as we consider our future Christmas spending. I’m also excited about brainstorming other ways to give as a family.
Other than the positive (hopefully), lasting family memories, was your Christmas spending an investment or merely spending? I welcome your comments below.