By, State Treasurer Kelly Schmidt
Have you ever wondered how valuable your time is versus your money? Time is much more valuable than money, we can use our time to make money, but we cannot use our money to purchase more time. Believe me, I have checked!
Can you remember what you spent your money on last year for Christmas gifts? Perhaps it was the new toy your children or grandchildren just HAD to have? Do they remember that toy now, a year later?
What if we changed the mindset of Christmas to the gift of our time instead of our money? What if, instead of the new hot toy, we took the kids or grandkids “on a date.” A date where they spend the entire afternoon with us. I bet we would remember that! I bet THEY would remember what they did, even a year later. More often than not, we get so consumed with the gift-giving, the wrapping of those gifts, and having “enough” for everyone under the tree that we lose sight of what is important. The excitement of it is remembered for only a few short weeks. It's like planning a wedding. No one remembers the color of the dresses, or what flowers we had on the tables or if we had fancy favors, but they do remember if they had a good time and the joy of marriage.
Considering your Christmas budget and how much you plan to spend on each person this year, can you split it in half? Spend half on actual items they can open and enjoy and the remainder on “experiences.” A family trip to the bowling alley. An afternoon to the local theatre for a movie and popcorn. Make a craft or bake cookies. Sledding and cocoa in the local park, the options are endless, and most do not cost a penny. Most Americans go into debt over the holiday season. Is it necessary? I don’t think so. Do the kids need more toys? It’s not the gifts; it’s the moments that matter most. Time truly creates more memories.
This year the average American will spend $920 on holiday gifts. I suggest we consider spending more time than money this year. Our gifts bring joy for just a few weeks, but the memories remain forever. More importantly, let’s treasure the greatest gift of all, the blessed babe in the manger.
Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!