Christmas: A Season of Giving or Paying?
Along with a joy in my heart for the birth and resurrection of my Savior celebrated by many during this holiday season, my mind always returns to years past when Husband was self-employed and how often clients would stop paying on their bills from November through February. Why, I would wonder? Do holidays superceed being faithful to commitments? Is this really what the season of giving should be all about?
Have you ever been on the other side of a bankruptcy? I have. Hours of husband's work and care now "donated" to the life problems of another. I do not mean to be simplistic. I know there are many extenuating situations that may not "fit" into what I am saying. I have, however, seen people who were unwilling to give up their perks in life such as cable, cellphone plans or even their restaurant dining, in order to be faithful to pay bills and honor the contracts for services rendered to them by another. From my experience the longer one gets away from a bill owed, the more that bill seems to become a burden and something easily considered no longer a priority.
Have you ever had to do collection work? Calling customers or clients who owe you big time? I have. I am not talking about those collector callers who harass and take advantage of the privacy of another. I am just speaking of the calls that remind the person who has received your service or product and for some reason chooses to renege on paying for the help or service they have received. Again, I am not referring to those who have had unknown hardships smack into their lives and may need mercy or consideration, but the many who still think they deserve every treat available while ignoring a bill incurred when receiving a service/product from another.
You may think me harsh. I certainly do not mean to be. I am only sharing some realities. And I do so because I think it can be easy for all of us to lose sight of the importance of being faithful to commitments, even financial ones.
So my frugal advice for this holiday season will not necessarily be popular. To me the best deals in the world are not as important as being sure to pay those bills already in hand. Memories and celebrations can be just as wonderful living within the integrity of what you make (and what you owe.) Be honest with your children if holiday funds are light due to previous expenditures. Building integrity and faithfulness into the lives of your children and teaching them to be responsible, will do more long term than any toy or gift. Do not feel guilty if your holiday celebrations do not match those of friends and neighbors. Find real satisfaction in only purchasing what you can pay for now. The warm fuzzies of gift giving can easily be later ruined when the bills start to come in.
Choose to celebrate this Christmas season with integrity. As you consider giving this holiday be sure to remember the importance of paying as well. Such a legacy will do much for our country and your home!