Christmas is not an emergency!By Randell Tiongson on December 16th, 2009
Isn’t it great waking up to cold mornings? Lately, I find it more difficult getting up in the morning because the colder temperature makes me feel like sleeping longer than I am used to. Aaah, what a wonderful feeling!
Do you start hearing familiar tunes more and more of late? Yup, those timeless Christmas tunes are back on the airwaves and, despite how many times I have heard them, I still love listening to them. I’m not ashamed to admit it, but I still love these times as much as I did when I was a young boy eons ago.
Not everyone, however, is as cheerful as I am during these times. I was having coffee with my friend when a nice Christmas tune was played, and it made me smile. But hearing the tune had an adverse effect on my friend. Instead of enjoying, he said that whenever he hears Christmas songs, he associates them with a lot of expenses. What made me smile made him frown.
Come to think of it, many adults are not too thrilled of the holidays because of too much expenses that go with it.
Why is this so? When December steps in, many of us suddenly realize that Christmas is approaching and, almost instinctively, start to be on a buying mode and, for some, begin using their credit cards more than they used to. Somehow, the environment begins to be conducive for everyone to buy gifts, and that’s where the madness sets it. Just as Christmas bonuses are released, they get expended faster than a speeding bullet, so to speak.
Here’s my take: CHRISTMAS IS NOT AN EMERGENCY!
Why do most of us feel down during the most joyful time of the year? It’s because Christmas is a very expensive period and, deep inside us, we know that many of our expenses are not really necessary. We don’t feel any post-tuition regrets after we’ve settled our educational expenses, but many of us feel post-Christmas shopping regrets after the realization of spending too much sinks in.
Christmas expenses are not necessary, and yet, nearly every one of us is guilty of overspending year after year. We have let the pressures of society dictate over common sense. We feel that gifts and festivities are obligations, but they never really are.
If Christmas expenses are not an emergency, then what are they? They are just like any other expense that needs to be planned and budgeted. Proper and logical allocation for expenses should prevail over our mindless infatuation of wanting to conform to traditions and social pressures.
Christmas expenses are not bad, but when it starts to consume your budget, it becomes a big problem. We don’t need to equate giving gifts with how we value friends and family; we also shouldn’t equate the cost of our gifts with how much we value them. I always cringe at the idea of people buying really expensive gifts because they feel that it is a testament of how much they love or like the recipient of their gifts.
Let’s all be practical and responsible. Christmas is not an excuse to start spending our hard-earned money, and it is also not a signal for us to start being extravagant. I know people who would start buying expensive clothing during these times, saying, “OK lang, Pasko naman… minsan lang ’to.”
What does Christmas have to do with splurging? The sad thing here is that we are all aware of this madness, yet we feel powerless to prevent this from consuming us. Is that the real spirit of Christmas? Why is Christmas an excuse to buy an expensive branded jeans like Zara when one can get the same quality jeans with a local brand like Bobson? A pair of Bobson jeans (or other local brands) will cost so much less than imported brands. Why pay more just because it is Christmas?
Why is there Christmas to begin with? Isn’t it because we want to celebrate the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ? If we want to be true to the real spirit of Christmas, then let’s just be thankful that God already gave the best gift there can ever be, and all we need to do is take it. Romans 11:29 says, “For God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable.” Why do we need to burden ourselves unnecessarily?