I spent much of the night on the edge of my seat watching the news to find out just how much of a cliff we would be hanging over after Capital Hill finished with us. I don’t know about anyone else, but I feel like I survived a war. I also feel like things are far from over and am going to approach the holidays with a wartime rations mentality. After screaming at my television, “you stupid jack-wagons don’t know how to balance a budget!” I decided to rethink my holiday budget because it won’t balance either if I take the same road as our leaders. I just looked at my Christmas list conceived after one too many trips to Keep.com whilst drinking screwdrivers and it totals at least one mortgage so far. That isn’t counting the other Christmas list scrapped together from randomly whimsical ideas imagined over the last few months. None of the gifts are even items my family members need, just excuses to spend money. Hmmm, sound familiar?
Before my family ends up in serious financial trouble, I am going to reprioritize our holiday budget and spending rules. It would be pretty hypocritical to criticize the government for failing at managing the country’s funds if I am plunging my family into major debt just to buy the shiniest new gadgets. Besides, what does it teach my kids if I demand that my government straighten up and be fiscally responsible, but then I do the opposite in my own home? I read a profound statement posted earlier this week that went something like this: you can’t have your cake if you didn’t work for it and earn the money to buy it. Or at least you shouldn’t. So why am I so tempted to charge all these cool shiny gadgets and toys on a credit card? Why am I wanting to have my cake and eat it without actually earning it? But more importantly, why am I tempted to do this knowing that it is so hypocritical when I have been yelling at the smug little faces on my television screen for the last three weeks?
Wondering if in just a few short weeks we could once again be on the brink of disaster has made me really take a step back and reflect on what is actually important. The holiday season is supposed to be a joyous time when families and friends come together and share happy memories, feasts, and gifts. The public tone this year may be more subdued after so much disruption and discontent. But perhaps this year the tone will be more introspective of what truly is important. I don’t have to think twice about it; if given the choice between shopping sprees, decadent feasts and sumptuous gifts, or time with loved ones, I would prefer the time with those I love. Besides, no governing body can ever take that away, no matter how destitute they make me. Remember that, people. It’s the intangible attributes such as love, loyalty and kindness that really create wealth and prosperity.