December is the month of holiday and shopping. Irrespective of one’s religious and cultural background, one cannot resist the temptation of going wild in shopping.
While Christmas is made to appear on the surface as an event to celebrate the life of one of the noblest men to have ever worked on earth – a man who is believed and revered by both Christians and Muslims – little attention however – if any – is paid towards the life of Jesus Christ, peace be upon him, and his message to humanity.
People go wild in spending. Shopping malls are swamped throughout the month especially on the Boxing Day from shoppers who go ballistic in their attempt to take advantage of sales.
Corporations are the true winner of this holiday season as they are the only one who laugh at the end of the festivals while everyone else is left to deal with the pain and agony of debts and credit card bills which bring the feeling of depression and despair along with them.
Even though financial experts advise people to shop wisely, little heed is paid to such calls as big store chains work hard to distract shoppers from such advice by luring them to dig deeper into their pockets until they are swept away by the forces of gigantic waves. Then, they end up at the bottom of the ocean – an ocean of debt – and cannot find a way out to the surface.
CBC has run an interesting piece on how to spend smarter for the holidays by outlining a set of instructions to do that.
Plan ahead, is the first thing according to the article. “To avoid feeling the dent in your wallet during the holidays, start planning for the extra expense as early as possible, says Pat White, executive director of Credit Counseling Canada,” it states.
Second. Reset expectations. “Before you start checking people off your shopping list, approach your friends and family and ask if they want to change the gift-giving tradition this year, says personal finance expert Bruce Sellery.
It may be that everyone is rushing out to buy a gift because it's expected, and not necessarily what the family would like to do, he says.
Third: make a list and detailed budget. Setting a budget for holiday expenses is a key because it guides all your purchases and ensures you don't over spend, says Sellery.
"It doesn't matter what the budget is. It matters that you have a number," he says. "Because if you have a number, it drives a lot of the decisions."
Forth: use the payment method that suits you. When heading out to the shops, there are benefits and drawbacks with each method of payment, and it's important to choose the one that suits your needs.
Using cash or debit – in other words, money on hand – is recommended for those who might be tempted to overspend with a credit card, says White.
|I wish to see religious leaders in both Christianity and Islam holding seminars, dialogues and discussions especially in this month to discuss the life of this noble man and his mission in life.|
Forth: Avoid traps at the till. At this time of year, retailers are likely to be pitching extras to customers, such as in-store credit cards. The discount they offer on that purchase if you sign up for the credit card may be tempting, but Sellery advises consumers to stay away.
"It's bad news for your credit score, it's bad news for the amount of money you're going to spend," he says. "It's just bad news."
Consumers should also avoid paying an extra fee for extended warranties offered by retailers for items such as electronics, says Banerjee.
And the last piece of advice, according to the article, shoppers should avoid splurging on themselves, says Sellery.
"Unless you yourself are on your Christmas list, don't buy yourself anything. A lot of people buy themselves things when they're Christmas shopping."
Know Jesus This Month
I wish to see religious leaders in both Christianity and Islam holding seminars, dialogues and discussions especially in this month to discuss the life of this noble man and his mission in life.
Religious leaders have a duty to rescue their followers from the consumerism that is driving people crazy in this month where they go shopping until they drop dead.
While the actual birth date of Jesus Christ is questionable as indicated in the article entitled, Christmas Has Nothing to Do with Jesus, my aim is to leave that topic aside for the intellectuals to debate.
Since December has already become a synonym with Christmas whether we like it or not, scholars of both side of the fence – from the two world religions – should take advantage of the moment and start focusing on the life of this great man and the mission he came to accomplish.
With this, they can fight back the madness of consumerism that has hijacked the spirit of the holiday.
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