Holiday Economics: How Much Is Too Much?

Holiday Economics: How Much Is Too Much?

Now that the holiday shopping season is in full swing, it’s time to talk about holiday economics. Okay, maybe that doesn’t sound super-exciting, but bear with me for a bit.

In Economics for Everybody, R.C. Sproul Jr. defines economics as, “man making choices as to how to best use his limited resources in order to be a good steward before God”. If economics is about how we make choices and relate to God, then the Christmas season is a great time to reflect on its definition.

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Making Economic Choices During the Holidays

There’s a lot of talk about how much we should or shouldn’t do during the holiday season, but the bottom line is we have a choice. Each one of us gets to decide what is best for our family and how we will spend our resources.

This is easy to forget when we see the long list of activities happening around us and feel swept up in a flurry of traditions and expectations. But, we do have choices. We get to examine our own budgets, calendars, and desires when we contemplate how to celebrate the holidays. We can decide what we will spend, where we will go, and what blesses our family.

As homeschooling families, we get to determine when to vacation from school work and what that will look like. There is tremendous room for creativity and personalizing the way we celebrate the holidays. The freedom to express our family’s beliefs and interests during the Christmas season is one of my favorite parts of the homeschooling experience.

Using Economic Resources During the Holidays

Economics deals with how we spend our financial resources, but we can also apply its principles to other resources like time, energy, and talents. We all have a variety of resources available to us, but every one of them is limited. Knowing what that limit is, and staying under it, brings peace instead of pressure.

Even though it may seem fun temporarily, spending money we don’t have (or spending from the house payment envelope instead of the gift envelope) isn’t very fun to deal with later. Spending too much time on tasks and events can leave us drained and exhausted at the end of the holidays. Trying to impress others by attempting some trendy new craft or recipe can end up causing more stress if we don’t plan well.

One of the resources homeschoolers are blessed with is time. This varies from family to family, but most of us have a great deal of control over how we spend our time. If we take the time to carefully calculate our resources and identify their limits, we can save ourselves a lot of grief. Being realistic about what we have to give makes it easier to allocate where we can spend it.

Being an Economic Steward During the Holidays

Stewardship applies to all of our resources, not just the ones we give away. If God is truly the owner of everything, and everything we have is a gift, it really does matter what we do with every penny and every minute. The principle of stewardship gives us a Kingdom perspective of our resources. It helps us see how the gifts given to us by God can be used to bless others.

I feel a little bit like I’m preaching to the choir on this point. Homeschoolers innately hold strong views about stewardship, easily recognizable in the responsibility they have taken for the education of their children. They see their children as gifts from God and recognize the importance of being good stewards of their personhood by educating and discipling them daily. They can also stretch a dollar further than anyone I know!

In light of that, let me conclude by encouraging you. Homeschooling our children is a gift. God has richly blessed us, and He is willing and able to give us all the resources we need to be good stewards of His gifts. Even though it may be tempting to get caught up in the consumerism of the holiday season, feeling that if we only had more we could do or be more, we actually have everything we need in Christ to celebrate the season with joy and thanksgiving. He is enough! Simply resting in that can help us navigate all of the choices we have to make this holiday season.

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RC Sproul, Jr.’s consummate teaching is illustrated with hundreds of fun and interesting clips from old movies and cartoons. Learning economics is interesting and enjoyable with Economics for Everybody.


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