As mothers, we are all about spoiling our little (or extended) tribe. During the holiday season, this translates to finding the prettiest and most thoughtful gifts to show our appreciation and love. Yet, we cannot avoid thinking about the fact that we will regret the shopping sprees in January next year when all the holiday magic wears off, and we are left with more debt on our credit cards.

So, I am wondering, is spending necessary? What lessons are we teaching our children? Is there a better way to do this without feeling cheap?

Consumerism and love

If your kids think that love is measured in the new iPhone, maybe it’s time to have a talk and remind them about core values, family bonds, and the real holiday spirit. Teach your children that material possessions are just necessary for a more comfortable life, not the scope of it. Make them appreciate moments, feelings, memories instead of items. To make them break the link between objects and love, show them how to donate clothes and toys. Focus on the fact that their old things can make someone else very happy.

Minimalism and symbolic presents

After they have seen that even old toys bring joy, it’s the moment to step it up a notch and create memories to last a lifetime. The easiest way to do this is to start a family tradition. Hopefully, you will be able to follow every it year and eventually pass on to the new generation to carry it further.

One of the most heart-warming ideas I’ve seen so far is to make tiny Santas from an apple, a walnut and some cotton candy as treats for Christmas Carol singers. Yet, it doesn’t have to be so complicated, you could make gingerbread and decorate it as part of the holiday spirit. Let each of them create one piece for each member of the family and gift it together with a story, instead of buying a present.

Holiday loans

A simple search will yield a handful of opportunities to take out a holiday loan, even with tempting options for bad credit. The promise these loans bring is that you will not have to repay them in the first few months. The downside is that once you start paying the installments, the interest rate is high enough to ruin your mood for days to come and wipe any joy the gift has brought.

Furthermore, if the debt incurred by overspending on Christmas adds up to other, pre-existing debt, the result could be destabilizing for the family budget. In this case, you might want to stop spending entirely and go here to enlist the help of professionals to manage your debt.

Explain to your kids, preferably using gingerbread, the process of taking a loan. Tell them that for every four pieces you take out from the bank on Christmas, you need to give back five gingerbreads to the bank.

Giving the gift of moderation

Although your kids will probably whine for a while when they understand that the latest trends and gadgets will not be under their Christmas tree, it is for the better. Once they see the less fortunate and they appreciate that more spending will put a toll on your emotions, they will be happier just to more time together. Walk your talk and also give symbolic gifts to your husband and family. Make everyone feel grateful for the memories and count the blessings instead of gifts.