Christmas is here with us again and the heralds of joyful giving, celebration and merry-making in Christendom filled the air. “Today in the City of David a Savior has been born to you. He is Christ the Lord”(Luke 2:11)! And for this reason, the run-up to Christmas is full of tensions and anxieties, but the day itself is just very simple and reflective.
How do you make the best of this celebration and also not run into financial trouble after the Yuletide?
These are my four basic steps to help in your planning for Christmas and beyond:-
- JANUARY THE LONGEST MONTH: Remember that January is the longest in all the months. Why is this so? Because you have received your income or salaries in December by the 20th or so and already start spending. Salaries could only be paid again by 25th January thereby creating a long period of dryness in your pockets. Not just that, most of your income is spent in an unplanned manner so your money flies away quickly like the chariot of Elijah. Have you ever experienced that? And how do you intend to avoid the dryness of January? We shall catch a glimpse of that in the next point.
- EXPENDITURE PLANNING: first you need to plan for the month ahead. Children are back to school from 5th to 9th January and already school fees are due to be paid. Not only that, other costs like rents, utility bills and normal living costs are waiting to be met while your funds are already gone over Christmas. List all your December and early part of January expenditure and match against your income for December. Strike out non-essential expenditure, leaving only the essential one. What then is the essential expenditure? The one that is necessary for survival and up-building. In my sheet, school fees, fuel, electricity, charity homes visits, water bills, food are all essential. What is your essential expenditure? Like beer, buying the next suit/clothes or next on your girl/boyfriend? Think about it and put all into a plan and match against your income for December. The next stage is to strike out those that are not essential to reduce the expenditure. You are therefore making your life easier this way. Stick to your final list and implement it for your own good.
- GIVING: Hmmn, this topic again? Yes. Check my list above. I have included a charity home visit as part of my essential expenditure. Find time and resources to give out something to the poor and the needy this Christmas. Make it a vow and fulfill it. You shall come with a testimony on my page very soon. Give out your being, not just money. A time spent to explain some points, some solutions to a difficult situation and counselling are all categorized as giving. Do not limit this to only money for then the poor are precluded from giving. Give out your being, your best as that of Abel and it shall return to you in multiples. Don’t take my words for it; but practice it and you shall see the results.
- THE SPIRITUAL EVENT: Christmas is the celebration of the Divine Love who was incarnated on the Earth. Jesus is the Love of God born on Earth. Spend time in your church, your communities to experience Christ within you. Let His coming seethe into your very being; your spirit. You can for once avoid the drinking and the frivolous gluttony of earthly pleasures that dominate the celebrations as it has come to be. Spend quiet hours with your Creator, reflect and thank Him for His Act of Love in granting us this dispensation. And you shall see the Glory of God upon yourself.
Be blessed this Christmas!