Friday, November 25, 2011

Shopping with Jesus- replay

So my Black Friday rant didn't convince you to sleep in today. It's four in the morning, and you are prepping for the onslaught of shopping. I don't blame you; there are too many good deals to be had. And you go to Mass all the time, so this is not a shopping day of obligation for you like those that worship at the cathedral of stuff. Anyway, priest's wives shouldn't judge. In any case, here's some unsolicited advice for the Friday shopper.
  • Shop with Jesus. Say a prayer before you sip that early morning coffee. Let the other car get in front of you. Don't even try to get a good parking space. Just park as far out as possible and say a decade of the rosary while you walk into the store. Have a smile on your face for everybody because Jesus Christ is by your side, and you are preparing for His birthday.
  • Don't charge anything that can't be paid off before a month passes. Many people are in dire financial situations these past few years. Don't compound the problem (literally) by allowing a balance on your credit card. Be truthful with your family and simplify! Even though it is heart-breaking to see a child go without a toy they wanted, the stress avoided by not carrying a balance is a greater gift to the entire family.
  • Shop with intention. Try to go free trade or homemade as much as possible. For the adults in your life, buy things that don't add to the clutter. If you have no ideas but simply must buy a gift, get a nice candle.
  • Have a list and stick to it. This will lessen the feelings of panic. You have a plan.
  • Focus on the kids. While we don't want our kids to be materialistic, it is fun to get toys and other treasures on such a special day. My kids won't be getting an I-phone like some of their acquaintances. We don't try to keep up with the (credit card dependent) Joneses, but we do make sure the stockings are stuffed with little goodies and there are a few things under the tree- lots of practical things that I have held off buying and some just for fun. Last year, we focused mainly on books- a luxury because we usually either check out at the library or buy used.
  • Next year, turn off the television after August 1st. No more commercials to prep the kids for buying season! We borrow DVDs from the library or Netflix, so our children aren't exposed to commercials at all. Even so, every show is a means to get parents to buy stuff- even commercial-free PBS. If my child wants a toy because they really want it, I will consider getting it. I refuse to buy because an advertisement said that this is the thing to get if you really love your kids. I am stubborn that way.

"Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver."     -2 Corinthians 9:7

Lord, I thank You for Your blessings. Whether in plenty or with little, I want to be a cheerful giver. I desire to give from a full heart that serves, no reluctantly or with complaining. I long to see Your money used in ways that will bless others—through my tithing at church, giving to missions, or helping the needy. I choose to give —and I ask You to bless it.  ---from beliefnet

O God, give me the grace to shop wisely so I may purchase eternal happiness for myself and all others in need of love. ---from mamarock


  1. Thank you for the wonderful advice. Personally, I will be heading out to the mall later this afternoon because the Picture People is offering a free $25 gift card with $75 gift card purchase. I'll be using those next week to have the kids' pictures taken (first studio portraits in a few years) next week. For my mother, it isn't really a picture of the kids unless it has a fake drop-down background, so nicely framed pictures of the kids will be her Christmas gift. That will probably work for both grandmothers as well.

    I personally can't imagine getting up at some ridiculous hour of the morning to get in on some "doorbuster" deal, for all the reasons that you mentioned, and one biggie that you didn't mention. I have 5 young children (between the ages of 1 and 9). I haven't gotten enough sleep in *years*. I don't need to compound the problem.

  2. Those are such good suggestions. May I share them with our parish families?


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