Christmas Cheer: A Time for Mounting Debt

How does one avoid running up debts during the Christmas Holidays? The first rule is: Do not charge a penny. The second rule is earn the cost of Christmas, and the third rule is buy all your gifts when they are on sale. This last principle logically leads to the next principle which is: do not go on a buying spree just before Christmas. Shop for Christmas the year round. Keep a list with you at all times and when you find a basement bargain be ready to snatch it up. These are the broad principles, but what about the specifics? How do you make out a budget for Christmas. Some banks still offer Christmas savings accounts. X number of dollars are transferred from savings or checking into a separate account labeled Christmas Club Account. But how do you offset this monthly deduction? The good news is that you can earn it because Christmas is a time when part-time jobs are plentiful.

The main decisions you have before you are how much money in total do you want to spend on Christmas? And, how are you going to divide the money?

Set Priorities: How Much Will You Spend on Christmas and on Whom?

Make lists. In the first column include the names of your family and significant others such as a fiancé. In the second column list close friends and, in the third column, list business associates and acquaintances. The first column will include the most expensive gifts, the second, less expensive and the third column no gift per se. A card signed by you with a caring statement is sufficient.

Now that you have a plan to control the money you will spend on Christmas, you can replace that money in a number of ways. Remember the part time jobs available at Christmas. For example, you can be Santa Claus for hire. Walk in major department stores or hotels and speak to management. State that you want to be a part time Santa. After management does an obligatory background check on you, you may just get hired in a couple of days. Don't apply if you have a record as a pedophile or thief. After all, you will be surrounded with a broad range of merchandise and you will have to interact with kids. The store or hotel will furnish your Santa outfit: foam belly, white beard, and red suit. If you prefer you can grow your stomach and your beard and even take lessons in a Santa College in Michigan to become a professional Santa. But if you don't want to make this much of an investment, you can rent videos on Santa from your local library and study Santa's behavior, voice and personality. And this cost little to nothing. Keep in mind that you do not have to do Santa Claus alone. You can involve your whole family. Santa needs elves, faeries, gnomes etc. There are roles for the whole family. You can branch out and set up a business as Santa visiting families in their home for parties and get-to-gethers. Santa can also answer letters from kids and create his own website, emailing his fans And Santa can transport folks around town for a contribution to his reindeer fund.

Sell Your Family Recipes

You have a treasure of family recipes on how to make pumpkin pie, eggnog, and mincemeat; how to cook turkey so that it is flavorful, yet moist...not dry as a bone in the desert sun.You could start a catering service. Make booklets of your recipes and sell them over the internet. Use Pay Pal to collect your money. It does not take a financial pundit to predict that Christmas, Hanukah and Season's Greeting Cards will be up this year. People are buying fewer gifs; instead of buying gifts they are buying cards. Get in on this market and design cards way before Christmas comes around. Personalize cards with images, witty sayings, and Christmas poetry. Hop on your

computer and search for statements and poems great authors have penned about the Christmas season. Quote these famous authors and leave enough space for the person who buys your cards to sign their name. Don't forget that you can send virtual flowers cost free from your computer. You can send basket arrangements of all sorts. If you have a practical gift, you may enjoy stringing Christmas lights for a fee. Or, you may just enjoy selling Christmas trees. You can enter the joy of Christmas this way by helping your customers find the exact tree they have in mind and then you will praise their selections.

Literature, Writing and Acting

If you have a literary bent you can offer a non-credit course on Christmas stories and feature works like A Christmas Carol by Dickens and Mary E.Wilkins story about a mystery girl who joins a family for Christmas dinner. You could write a skit for neighborhood presentation based on the characters like Scrooge and Tiny Tim. You could give each family member a role. If you are a writer, you can write and sell essays to internet marketers. Writing a thousand to two thousand words a day can become wearisome, so sometimes internet marketers will pay for essays to complete their projects.

If you have dress design ability you can design Christmas dress and jackets to meet the demands of a high end market. If you have a master's degree in an academic area such as Math, English or History, you can teach in a college as an adjunct. You could also teach on line and you don't have to drive anywhere. You can teach for universities like D'Vry, Argosy, Phoenix, Baker, Kaplan and ITT Teck. Most schools end their fall semester with the coming of Christmas, so you can earn a fat check for Christmas.Timing is perfet. You can save money during tax season if IRS owes you. Some tax preparation agencies will cut you a check on the spot and they will collect from Uncle Sam. It may be a few hundred dollars or a few thousand. Put this money in a savings account that you earmark for Christmas.

There may be any number of ways to earn money for Christmas, if only you use your imagination. And if you get stuck, you can call on Santa's elves to help you....and they will.