Dangers of Christmas - #12

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At the beginning of December the Huffington Post featured an article on the

12 dangers of Christmas

.  The article focused on fire safety during the holiday season.  They covered everything from your Christmas tree drying out and catching the drapes on fire to burning down your home while preparing your roast beast.

The article got me thinking, what if there were other dangers during Christmas?  What if, aside from falling off your roof while working on your light display and over roasting your chestnuts, there were hidden dangers during the season of advent that most of us overlook.

Over the next 15 days I am going to share my 12 dangers of Christmas.  So here we go,

holiday spending

# 12 - Over Spending, more money, more problems

According to the American Research Group the average family will spend $804 this year on Christmas gifts this year, which happens to be down 6 percent from 2012.  And, according the ABC News, in January and February 2013 credit counseling agencies saw a 25 percent increase in cases resulting from overspending during the Christmas season.

It is no secret that Christmas has been taken over by American consumerism.  If you need proof, just look at this past Thanksgiving where stores were opening their doors with Black Friday deals before Chris Kringle made his way down 34th street.  It is impossible to miss the news stories of people being trampled to death in Walmart over a T.V. or two women duking it out in Victoria Secret because they got their panties in a twist over the last pair of panties.

It is hard to enjoy the new year if you spend more than you have in the bank on Christmas gifts and yuletide cheer.  Christmas is a celebration.  Churches around the world are packed to the gills with worshipers bowing down to worship an infant who came to reconcile the world.

If Christ came to reconcile us before God, does it really make sense that we should go into debt over material items that we don't need?  If the birth of Christ signaled a change in the status quo for Israel maybe its time for us to change the status quo in the way we celebrate.

I'm not saying that you shouldn't give gifts.  And I'm not saying that if someone offers me a gift this Christmas I am going to refuse it.  What I am saying is that maybe, just maybe, its time to rethink the amount of debt we are willing to incur while we celebrating the birth of Christ.

Consider this from the Advent Conspiracy:

"Quick question for you: What was the one gift you remember getting for Christmas last year? Next question: What about the fourth gift? Do you remember that one? Truth is many of us don't because it wasn't something we necessarily wanted or needed. Spending Less isn't a call to stop giving gifts; it's a call to stop spending money on gifts we won't remember in less than a year. America spends around $450 billion dollars during the Christmas season, and much of that goes right onto a credit card. By spending wisely on gifts we free ourselves from the anxiety associated with debt so we can take in the season with a full heart"