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Kids Gifts and Avoiding the Dept Cliff

How to be debt free

Do You Know How To Avoid The Debt Cliff This Holiday Season?

Let’s talk about giving kids gifts this holiday season and avoiding debt.

How can you help your family enjoy Christmas with less?

And How Many Gifts Do Your Kids Really Need?


Isn’t it amazing how quickly Christmas and the HOLIDAYS comes around again?

It seems we were just shopping and preparing for last years season!

When do you start decorating for the holiday?

When do you start shopping for gifts?

The BIG question?

HOW much MONEY do you spend on Christmas?

When you think about Christmas, is it the gifts, the ‘stuff’ the things that you remember all of your life?

I would guess that we all have a favorite toy, or special present that was meaningful and stayed in our memories over the years.

However, the amount we spend on our kids, our family, our loved ones, our friends, neighbors, co-workers….the list goes on and on of who to buy for…what is that determined from and why?

I’ll explain, but first let me share a story from when I was a girl.

One of my most memorable Christmas gifts was the year that my mom gave my two sisters and me, two gifts.

She was on a very limited budget and we knew that. It was ok, and what were those gifts?

We each were given a box of our favorite cereal.

And our own bottle of favorite soda pop. 

I never felt that we had less, or that we were cheated, or ashamed to tell my friends what my presents were that year.

I was thrilled with what I had and glad to have it.

But I think that comes from knowing that you as a person are more valued than ‘stuff’ or ‘things’.

As this holiday season comes along, where is the focus for your family?




This season, if you decide to do less in gifts and spending, but your family is used to getting more, you want to change that tradition with with purpose and gradually if that’s best for your situation.

Some ways you can spend less and help your family be positive about the experience would be:









I do understood what it’s like to not have money to spend at Christmas and wonder what to do.

One Christmas many, many years ago, we had about ten dollars for the four kids Christmas gifts and that was it. It had been a particularly difficult year with job situations, health issues, a brand new baby and other unplanned circumstances. What to do with our small amount of money? We decided to get a cat, the food and litter box.

Stan brought the cat home early Christmas Eve, but it ran away and we could not find it!

Now we didn’t have anything to give our kids!

At that time, there weren’t the shelters, internet, etc., to get a new cat, plus we didn’t have the money to replace it anyway.

Blessedly, Stan’s parents felt impressed to call to check on us, Stan told of our predicament and trying to find the cat. His parents made sure each of our children had something to open from Santa Christmas morning.

If you ever feel the impression to serve and help another, please pray about it, listen close and act. 






Why do we overspend for holidays anyway?

A few possible reasons are:

  1. We want to impress our kids, family, friends, co-workers
  2. We feel it’s a social status maker/breaker
  3. Buys friendship or approval
  4. Fixes relationships or makes up for poor behavior




Ideas for making and staying within a BUDGET:




More ways to save:

1. Make gifts – homemade ones are the best! There are so many creative possibilities when you look on-line. Such as calendars with family pictures, a family favorite recipe made with the recipe to go with it, a favorite treat, the list is endless.

2. Scale down –   Do people really like you better depending on the gift you give them? If that is the case, do yourself a favor and get new friends. Going into debt to impress, or compete with their present to you, or even their expectation of what you should give them; is not worth it. If only makes you resent the person, or what you did in the near future.


3. Watch for sales and specials – shop on the internet to compare prices. Before making purchases, look at authentic ratings and reviews of that particular product to help in making an informed decision. Purchasing the least expensive isn’t always the best in the long run. But you can buy smart and still save money. 

4. Kids do not need everything – or expensive items. Letting them know that Santa or parents have a budget they need to stick to. This teaches them how to budget when they are older, which is a critical life skill. It also diminishes any ‘entitled attitude’ or I ‘deserve it’ attitude, if that is an issue. Remember, even at Christmas time, we are not in a popularity contest, or trying to be our kids ‘bff’. We are a parent to set and show a trusted example of doing the right thing.

5. How many  gifts for the kids – A friend told me about a common practice of giving one gift in each category that they are now following. It simplifies gifts, makes it more meaningful and takes the expenses down quite significantly. Most importantly, helps bring the focus of Christmas to where it should be. 

Here is her list of what her kids receive a gift from in each category, along with a filled stocking. 


 6. Looking ahead to next year to save money ahead – as extra money is available for this expense and set aside for this purpose.


7. Remember the reason for the season If you do, then all falls into place and your heart will be filled with sweet peace and love. Individually and as a family, be sure to reach out and serve somehow someone. It can be of a little cost, or your time. But remember what Christmas is all about, and teach your children. To help with this, please click HERE [1] and look for the Nativity Lesson. 


Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2019
Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.