Every year during the month of December, many people feel obliged to partake in frenzied preparations for the Christmas period; with party-hopping and present-buying being of utmost importance. It seems that having lots of money to spend is crucial for the enjoyment of the season.
In fact, many people become depressed at this time if they can’t find the funds to really splurge for the holidays. It’s common to hear frustrated shoppers comment that “No money not running this year, so I won’t be able to have a good Christmas.”
The commercialization of Christmas has unfortunately turned many away from the true message of the season. The biblical account of three wise men bringing gifts for the blessed Child in a manger now merely forms an endearing backdrop to the biggest shopping period of the entire year.
Focus on the Christmas message
Very often, the excesses of the holidays bring out the worst kinds of attitudes in people. In direct contrast to the self-sacrificing message of Jesus’ birth, many people exhibit a self-centered, materialistic focus on acquiring more and more things at Christmas.
Too many persons are overly concerned about how much money their pixie spent on their gift, or where they are going to buy the ‘bling’ clothes for the office party. They also try to impress others by buying items they really can’t afford, only to regret their rash choices in January.
While holiday spending is important for the development of our business sector, this shouldn’t be the major highlight of the season. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we also focused on making lasting and positive changes in the lives of a wider cross section of our population?
During the season, a lot of wishes are made — longing wishes for presents under the Christmas tree, friendly wishes for happiness and prosperity, and philanthropic wishes for the betterment of all humanity. For Christmas 2012 and beyond, I wish that you will have:
A spirit of gratitude and appreciation
Christmas is the perfect time to look back over the year and give thanks for all you have received. However, if you concentrate only on material things, you may feel discouraged about not having enough money to buy all the things you wanted, and forget to show your appreciation to others.
Even if your financial situation was less than ideal, you can be grateful for all the non-material blessings that came to you this year. Give thanks for having a healthy mind and body, supportive family and friends, someone to love, and freedom of information and personal expression.
A heart for the less fortunate
Despite our complaints about being a poor country, Jamaica is rich in resources that could be better allocated to benefit those who are in need. While expensive cars, mobile phones and name brand clothes abound, too many of our neighbours are existing in a cycle of poverty.
While you might not be able to help a large number of disadvantaged people, you can make a difference in the life of even one person. You can donate food supplies, books and clothes for children, financial support for inner-city businesses, or volunteer your time in service to others.
A mind filled with positive thoughts
Too many people focus solely on their negative circumstances; and this only guarantees that they will receive more problems. Unfortunately the ‘nutten nah gwaan’ philosophy that permeates our country cripples our natural abilities to find solutions to our financial challenges.
I wish that you will be able to let go of past disappointments and cultivate a positive mindset for the future. YWith an optimistic outlook, you can create clear, realistic goals and have the drive and passion to do whatever is necessary to achieve them.
An eye to see opportunities
I have always encouraged increased productivity as a means of breaking free from the financial obstacles that hinder us as individuals and as a nation. It’s self-defeating to keep complaining about our money problems; the only answer is to focus on generating more sustainable income.
I hope that you will develop a keen eye to find opportunities around you to increase your earnings. Whether you see a problem that requires a solution, or look for ways to market your talents, make a concerted effort to create additional sources of income in the coming year.
About the Author
Cherryl Hanson Simpson is a money coach, business mentor and founder of Financially S.M.A.R.T. Services. Her upcoming book, “The 3 Ms of Money” will reveal all the secrets she learned about financial success. Read more on money and business matters at www.financiallysmartonline.com and www.entrepreneursinjamaica.com. Email comments to [email protected].