No matter what your budget is this Christmas, remember to be thankful. Take a deep breath in the middle of all this craziness.
You might have a lot. You might have a little. If you are driving a beater, be thankful for that beater. You would rather drive that than walk, wouldn't you? There is always something to be thankful for.
That's what contentment is all about. When you understand and really grasp contentment, it becomes easier to save money and invest. Stress slowly disappears. Budgeting is easier. Relationships improve.
Be happy with what you have. More than three billion people, almost half the world, live on $2.50 a day. Sometimes we need a little perspective to become content with our current situation.
Without contentment, it's easy to be bitter and apathetic. Happiness is sold to us, especially during this time of year. We think if we can just get one more piece of stuff that "true" happiness will be right around the corner.
We say things like, "I'll be happy when I get that house!" or "I'll be happy when I get that new car!" But happiness cannot be bought. Sure fun—in the form of a house, a car, a new LCD television—can be bought, but fun is temporary. True happiness, or contentment, is lasting.
You can get out of debt, save money, and get on a budget, but until you realize that stuff doesn’t bring contentment, you will always feel stressed and unhappy. Contentment brings peace. And isn’t this time of year about bringing "peace on earth and good will toward men"?
Remember what this deal is all about. It's not about trees, lights, gifts, baked hams, and shopping malls. It’s about a little child who was born in a manger and grew up to die on a cross. It’s about peace on earth and good will toward men.
So if the Christmas frenzy is wearing you out, you've missed the point of Christmas. Make a plan with your money, and make a plan to get back in touch with the true meaning of this special day.