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It’s possible to celebrate the season without debt

Nearly one in 10 Americans is still paying off debt from Christmas shopping – in 2018. Even with the strongest economy in 50 years, many consumer still purchase more than they can afford.

“It’s fascinating how the world tries to convince us of the need to do more, to have more, to buy more,” said Chuck Bentley, CEO of Crown Financial Ministries. “And yet, we’re never told those things in the Bible.”

READ: Church pays off medical debt of strangers

Fortunately, Bentley has a number of suggestions for how to celebrate the season without breaking the bank:

  • Children crave personal attention. Use the holidays to fill their love tanks. Money can’t do that.
  • Research shows that experiences rather than things often give greater satisfaction.
  • Know your children and what THEY like. If they love dogs, watch dog shows, read dog books, go to dog shows. If they like tinkering, teach them how to use tools and do repairs. Get on their level and sacrifice your time for them. They will love and remember it.
  • Read scripture aloud together every night, such as reading through the book of Luke this month.
  • Make cards to put in their lunches or on their pillows. You can make gift certificates for something special to do together (and it doesn’t have to cost a penny).
  • Decorate with nature, with items found at thrift shops or from friends. Wrap your presents with paper shopping bags and write a special message on it.
  • Make the days special. Bake cookies together. Cook meals together, giving the children special tasks that express your need and appreciation for their help. Affirm them verbally.
  • Read Christmas stories together or watch a holiday movie. Enjoy a bowl of popcorn, hot chocolate and marshmallows.
  • Work a puzzle while listening to holiday music or a Christmas book.
  • Play board games or color together.
  • Go for walks, bike rides or hikes. Drive through holiday lights. Pack special snacks.
  • Go to the museums, the zoo or state parks. Invite friends or family to join you. Carry snacks.
  • Give a jar with spare change or roll your change together and open a bank account for the child.

“My prayers are that you can be thankful for your circumstances, have a wonderful, debt-free Christmas celebration with your family, and begin the New Year with a plan to avoid this stress in 2020,” Bentley said.

–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice