By Bob Barber

Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, US retail sales reached $889 billion in 2021 and are expected to reach $942 billion in 2022. The top-end estimate for 2022 is $960 billion. Comparing that with 2012 numbers of $567 billion, we’re up over 66% in just ten years. That’s a LOT of Christmas shopping!

To break this down a little further, think about this for the 2022 Holiday season:

  • US Households will spend an average of $7,250 during the holidays (Statista.com)
  • Holiday shopping accounts for 30% of annual retail sales (MuchNeeded, 2021)
  • December 15th to 24th accounts for 40% of ALL Christmas sales (MuchNeeded, 2021)
  • 56% of all shoppers buy gift cards (MuchNeeded, 2021)
  • The top five items people plan to buy for themselves are alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages (33%), food – including meal prep kits (30%), clothing (30%), shoes (23%), and books (17%) (Deloitte, 2020)

The Stress of Christmas Shopping

Almost three-quarters of Americans report that money and work are significant sources of stress in their lives, according to the American Psychological Association (APA) 2007 Stress in America survey. The holidays compound the pressure, as revealed in APA’s 2006 poll on holiday stress.

Middle-income Americans are particularly affected as everyday financial pressures are amplified by demands to spend more. With the pressure to create the perfect holiday–a memorable meal, expensive gifts, elaborate decorations, and more–not having enough money to do it all causes stress to more than 60% of those surveyed on holiday stress. The worries continue when the credit card bills arrive a month later.

The Real Meaning of Christmas is about…

  1. The immaculate conception and virgin birth of God’s one and only son
  2. Unconditional love for all of us, no matter where we are in life
  3. Worship of THE King of all Kings – The wise men and shepherds on that glorious night
  4. God’s holy angels rejoicing and announcing Jesus’ birth to the shepherds
  5. Purity and holiness
  6. Humbly being born in a manger around stinky animals so Jesus could relate to everyone regardless of their economic status
  7. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, and gentleness all in one
  8. Gives meaning and purpose to this life
  9. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
  10. A free offer to life here on earth filled with a purpose, meaning, and eternal life with the maker of our universe simply by acknowledging and accepting his one and only son, Jesus Christ, as your own personal Lord and Savior

The lights, the snow, the tree, the food and cookies, and the Christmas movies are all good, BUT the real meaning of Christmas is God coming to live amongst us through the immaculate conception of a virgin birth conceived by the Holy Spirit.

Isaiah 7:14 “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call His name Immanuel.”

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”

John 14:6 “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father excet through me.’”

Merry Christmas from all of us at Christian Financial Advisors®!

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