I recently heard a report that consumers are expected to spend the typical amount on gifts this holiday season despite the rising costs of just about everything. At first glance, that was surprising to me, but as I thought about it more, I realized we want so much for things to get back to normal in every aspect of our lives. Since the Covid pandemic started in 2020, everything has been different. And even though we have seen great strides in normalcy, some industries haven’t recovered fully. Other aspects of life have made it difficult to be a consumer these days; from airline tickets, to the price of groceries, to the inflated costs of homes and cars. The scarcity of many items also has driven up prices and affected consumer demand. Trying to get a rental car is like trying to grasp water with one hand (ask me how I know). But despite it all, we will spend money on presents this month to show our loved ones how much they mean to us. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

A few months ago, I had to recalibrate my personal and household budget. I saw my spending getting out of control. I even had to promise myself not to buy any more shoes for the rest of the 2022 calendar year. And then I saw the Jordan Twelves (one of the two remaining Jordan shoes I want for my collection) were dropping on December 3rd. Fortunately or unfortunately, they weren’t quite a color that I would have liked to have, but it was still tempting. My goal is to not buy any more shoes until my birthday next April, but we’ll see if I can last that long.

Making and sticking with commitments can be the most difficult thing to do. Especially financial commitments. Things come up, our willpower goes down, and we allow our wants to overtake our needs. But we have to find a way to overthrow our lust for things or we can find ourselves in a whole heap of trouble. And that’s not just with money, that’s with all of our lives. The love of money is the root of all evil for a reason. Notice that’s not saying money is evil, but the love of it is the root of evil. It’s what sparks evil. It’s okay to want money, but when you have a love for it, you might do almost anything for it. Just like you would do almost anything for the people you love. 

So spend away this month. Show your loved ones and friends just how much you love them. But keep in mind that there are more ways to show someone you love than just giving them gifts. There are so many intangible things you can give them as well…like kind words, a feeling of belonging and acceptance, trustworthiness, an ear to hear, a shoulder to cry on, and so much more. So let every dollar you spend be met with one act of kindness that supersedes even the gifts of love you give.

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