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Friday, November 27, 2009

Before You Buy That Expensive Gift

My wife thinks I should be named Scrooge. I know that I am less generous than I need to be. I should want to give lavishly. I try to purchase each gift with the best cost in mind. I do research and shop frugally. Therefore, my gift giving stays within my budget.

My stinginess is no reason for others to be foolhardy with their giving. I want you to remember some things before you buy. If this catches you after you bought, remember that you can take it back without hurting their feelings. The one you were going to give the gift to doesn't even know that you were going to give it. So, here are some things you might consider when you are purchasing gifts.

You can't purchase love. That's not just the sentiment of a Beatles song. It really can't be bought. There is no gift that will purchase another person's love. It is a very shallow person (a gold digger actually) who acts like he or she loves you when receiving a gift. 

A gift from the heart does not need to be expensive. Let your gift giving reflect your feelings. Many people (men especially) think that love is reflected by the cost of the gift. That's why the jewelry stores have tv commercials showing women going crazy over a diamond necklace. The purchase of a diamond necklace may show no thought whatsoever in the selection of the gift. I believe people are more impressed with your effort to get the right gift than the cost of the gift.

You can't start a contest on who can spend the most money. It is a dead end street. Eventually no encore will meet the previous year. Eventually, neither you or the other person can afford what you are doing. It is much better to agree on a cap and stay within that amount. The one who can afford this best should be the one to approach the subject.

There is a payday someday. The gifts you put on credit cards will result in bills you will have to pay later. You may grow to resent the Christmas season if the pain of the giving lasts well into the next year. Keep a close watch on what you are spending and know your limit. It could take a lot of pain out of your future.

Check your pride at the store's door. Don't be afraid to ask for a price. Don't be afraid to reject the item if it rings up more than you expected. Don't be afraid to ask for a cheaper price if the store has a policy of beating any other stores advertised price. You would be surprised at the prices available if you will check your pride at the door.

Remember that you are celebrating Jesus' birthday. Let your giving reflect the love you have for others as an expression of His love for them. There is a difference between an expensive gift and one which comes from love. The person who can't tell the difference is one who doesn't know the reason for the season. Jesus does not want you to commit financial suicide. He wants you to love people like He does.

You will never really enjoy the season if you are afraid of checking your mailbox for the bills that follow. Make sure that your gift giving reflects your heart, your band account and your faith. Christmas is a wonderful time when these are in balance. 

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