Like every family, we had certain Christmas traditions that were very important. My parents did not wrap gifts so we had a curtain covering the living room and each of us went downstairs one at a time to see our gifts. To be first was huge because it was torture sitting at the top of the steps hearing your siblings scream about how cool their gifts were. Finally, it was my year to go first and I was so excited!!!! In the middle of the night I awoke on Christmas morning and decided that I would rush down and peek at my gifts before everyone else. It was perfect. Unfortunately, I miscalculated. I forgot about the house alarm. When I started going downstairs, the house alarm rang and I was busted by everyone!!! Instead of finally going first that year, I was last and had to wait a few more years until it was my turn to go first again. It was a huge lesson that I always have remembered. Maybe our credit cards should sound that same alarm in stores when we go over our credit limit so we have to face the brunt of public shame.
Do you even remember what gifts your cousins or brother gave you last year? Before you overspend, please remember that brownies with red and green m&ms in a cute holiday tin bought from the dollar store often go over just as well. They show that you cared and took time to make something. That is becoming rarer and rarer as time seems to become harder to find. Don’t go into debt over a gift most people won’t remember in a few months.
Remember that credit cards were not invented until the 70′s. Before that everyone had to save until they could afford what they wanted. The best Christmas gift you could give yourself may be ripping up your credit cards and going to the cash only rule. I believe in it!!!