It is 8 days until the rare occurrence of Christmas Eve and Hanukah occur on the same night.  Which means if you have been asleep in a cave without Wi-Fi or TV that it is the SEASON for GIVING.

Giving is an elusive term for spending more money than you planned and having no plan for what you are doing.  According to the National Retail Foundation, Americans plan to spend an average of $936 per person shopping for their friends and families this holiday.  (Note to “The Girls” this is when being below average is the best)  What percentage of that is impulse spending that never gets appreciated or truly used?

We all struggle with the question, “What do you want for Christmas?”  If you are a parent with younger children, they want EVERYTHING.  When you are a parent of adult children, then the question goes both ways.

I know that Tina and I struggle each year for “what should we get our parents?”  They either have everything they want or need or we have that feeling that we want to find that perfect gift. (We are still looking)

Whether you’re on a budget or just trying to discourage materialism in your family this holiday season, you might want to consider the four gift rule this Christmas.

The 4-gift rule has been circling the Internet the past few years. I do not know the origin but there are a few variations of it. The idea is that you buy no more than four gifts for each person for Christmas.  I believe that this principle could apply to anyone you are giving a gift.

The gift fall under these categories:

  1. Something they want
  2. Something they need
  3. Something to wear
  4. Something to read

For every age group, you can find gifts that fit these categories from toddlers to parents.  When you are finished with your shopping for others, I think you need to stop and add the + 1 gift.

What is a + 1 Gift?

The 5th principle of The Financial Olympian™ Creed is Give Regularly and at this Holiday Season, this is never more important than now.

While I state that giving can be in dollars or in time, I know that there is no greater gift than giving of your time and with all the pressures of the Season, the greatest gift that you can give is your time.

If you are a child with parents, rather than ask them what they want for Christmas give them what they want.

What do parents want?

We want to spend time with you. We want you coming around, we want you to bring your kids and your friends around, we want you to ask us questions, ask our advice, tell us your problems, ask for our opinions, ask for our help. Tell us about your job, your worries, your spouse, your kids, your rescued four-legged furry kids. (Bring them along) We want you to continue sharing your life with us and sharing those good bottles of wine that are reserved for special times.

We spent at least two decades of our life raising you the best way we knew how, and we’re not bragging, but we did a good job. Now, give us time to admire our work, we’re proud of you.

When you ask us what we want for Christmas, we say “nothing” because as Mariah Carey says all so well, “All I want for Christmas is YOU!

Stay warm this weekend as the Polar Vortex is coming!



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Michael Tannery CPA CDFA® AIF® ●  CEO
Registered Principal

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