Friday, November 30, 2012

How to Spend Less, Give More and Experience More of What Really Matters this Christmas

"I’m participating in the Spend-Less Holidays: Saving While Savoring the Season Blog Carnival, hosted by The Frugal Fil-Am and Dainty Mom. We’ll be sharing our tips on how to spend less this holiday season, so that we can have a more meaningful Christmas. Please scroll down to the end of the post to see the list of carnival entries.”

Photo source here.

Are you now experiencing what is commonly known as the Christmas rush?  It seems that everyone is rushing more than ever around Christmas time.  Rushing to buy Christmas decors.  Rushing to decorate houses, offices, malls and streets.  Rushing to by new clothes and toys/gadgets.  Rushing to go to different places and events amid the traffic.  Rushing to finish their Christmas shopping.  With all the rush and all the spending, I wonder if each one of us would have the chance to savor what is truly of value.  I wonder if in the rush of buying gifts or finishing our Christmas shopping list, we would be able to give gifts that really matter to those we give gifts to.  You might be wondering, "Is it possible to spend less and still end up giving more?" 
It is!  Let me share simple ways which can help you spend less and still give more this Christmas and experience more of the Christmas spirit.
  1. Give the gift of your time. - Busyness has become a way of life for many even outside of the holiday season.  So many people are tied to their jobs for one reason or another.  The sad reality is that there are spouses who are so busy with work and many other things that they no longer have time to talk (heart-to-heart talks or otherwise) to their spouses.  There are parents who are so busy with work and many other things that they are not able to spend quality time with their kids anymore to get to know them or to simply play with them.  It really needs a lot of effort and commitment these days to make time for someone or something. My number one suggestion therefore is to give the gift of your precious time to show someone that you value them or that they are important to you.  As the famous saying goes, "Time is gold."  Our time is so precious because once given or shared, we can't bring it back again.  We can't earn it again unlike the money that we spend in buying gifts.  Let me ask you?  When was the last time you sincerely and unhurriedly listened to someone's story/ies?  When was the last time you were really focused on what someone was telling you or sharing with you?  Take time to listen -- to your spouse, to your child, to your aging parent/s, or to a friend.  Schedule or plan a playdate or some quality time with your inaanak or godchild instead of buying toys.  Spend quality time with someone important to you or with someone who needs to feel loved and important, not necessarily a family member or a friend of yours.  You can go to charitable institutions, too, like a home for the aged or elderly, an orphanage, a hospital with terminally ill patients, a prison, etc.
  3. Give the gift of your talent. - You can also use your special skill or talent to come up with a personalized gift or as your gift itself.  That would definitely be of greater value than store-bought presents because not only does it require your time and/or presence, it involved your unique or special skill.  For example, if you have a talent in singing or playing a musical instrument, you can serenade someone as your gift or record a song or a number of songs.  You can cook your specialty or bake your favorite cake or pastry.  You can paint, compose a poem, write a story or a song if you have the talent to do these things.
    Photo source here.
    Give the gift of faith and hope in CHRIST. - The first Sunday of Advent is just a few days away.  It would be good to remind ourselves of the REAL REASON for the celebration of CHRISTmas.  I believe that giving the gift of faith and hope in JESUS, the Savior, who came into the world to save us would be the greatest gift we could give to someone this Christmas season. You might be wondering how.  Let me share some ideas.  You can simply share a story where you have experienced God's help or goodness as a result of having faith or hope in Him.  You can share about a special favor you received this season as you prayed to Jesus Christ and how He did not disappoint you as you placed your hope in Him.  You can still buy store-bought gifts but you can choose gifts that can inspire others to have faith and hope or to grow in these areas.  Some examples of these are devotionals like Didache (where I am a contributing writer), Companion or Sabbath by Shepherd's Voice Publication, other kinds of devotionals which are Scripture-based and help people pray and meditate on the Word of God or they can also be books that will inspire people to have faith in God's promises like my book When My Bridegroom Comes.  They can also be home decor, apparrel or other items that remind people about the REAL REASON why we celebrate and get busy with many things this Christmas.  With these simple gifts or your simple sharing of your story of faith, who knows you might be able to make a big impact or difference in someone's life?

Inspirational book for single ladies
waiting for God's best.

Those are just some of the simple ways by which you can spend less money this Christmas yet still give more and experience more of what really matters.  For as you give gifts that are precious to you and that are of lasting/eternal value, you are blessed as well.  My prayer and wish for you, dear reader, is that you will not only get to save on money in the coming holy-days because of reading this post but you will be blessed and inspired as well.

JESUS CHRIST, the reason for the Season.
Photo source here.

Check out the rest of our Spend-less Christmas Carnival Participants!



  1. This is a great post, Teresa! :) I love your ending — the photo with Jesus as the Reason for the season! :) God bless you and your family always!

    1. Thank you very much, Tina! God bless you and your family, too, including the newest addition to your family. :)