the Holidays are Upon us …
been on my mind of late that I must pass along. Over the past
years, as I have had the privilege and pleasure of
interacting with many people regarding money, each year at this
time a stark reality reasserts its gnawing intention causing me
the disquiet that prompts this missive to you.
So very often, good
intentioned and loving people go into debt as they seek to demonstrate
their affection for those they care
about. This pull to spend money that is "not really there" can
also be exerted by feelings of guilt or loss, or the hope of mending
May I suggest to you that going into debt over the Christmas Holiday
will in fact be counterproductive to any virtuous or noble intentions
you might have? Simply do not increase credit card debt for Christmas!
I humbly implore you to consider gifts of love as shown by time
spent and meaningful words spoken, rather than presents bought,
and packages wrapped.
I should think
that any recipient of gifts that were bought with borrowed money
would find the luster tarnished, and the thrill diminished,
if they indeed feel reciprocated love for the giver. As parents
we do our children no good deed by giving them material gifts obtained
in exchange for financial bondage that lasts well beyond the remembrance
of the packages opened.
Will you consider
what I am saying here? If you have influence over others, endeavor
to instruct them in this as well. My dear
wife and I have made it a practice to limit the extent of material
gift giving, or festivity making, to money that we have previously
set aside for that purpose. On the years when there was little
or no money, there were few store-bought gifts under the tree.
There have been several Christmases when our tree was obtained
Christmas Eve when the trees at the lots were free for the taking.
Those years were not at the bottom of the list of joyous and meaningful.
of money simply does not equate to love and caring, no matter
what the advertisements we are bombarded with may suggest.
In the coming year, we want greater prosperity. Prosperity in its
many forms includes financial security, but it can also include
an abundance of peace of mind, fiscal responsibility, and good
Dr. Stephen Cooper
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