UNITED STATES—We are in that time of year, where the spending is at its peak. The thing people should be aware of that Christmas is about giving not receiving. It is something I think so many people forget more than they should. I recall as a kid when I got my obligatory funding from my parents for Christmas that I could spend the money solely on myself or to purchase gifts. Can you guess what I did? More than half of those funds I spent on purchasing gifts for my siblings and parents.

Yes, I was not like my younger brother who spent all his money on himself. Did that bother me that he was thinking more about himself than others? A little bit, I guess I expected him to be a bit more like me, but that was not the case. With that said, the goal of this column is to get people to think about others. I always find it cringeworthy, and I mean cringeworthy when adults tell other people what they want for Christmas if they have not been asked.

It just gives off the notion that a person is expecting to get something, and they are quite specific about what they want. I think it is best to allow someone to pose that question to you not the other way around. When you do that, you run into a situation where you can annoy the person who was thinking about purchasing you a gift for Christmas.

Yes, I absolutely think we get too caught up in the commercialization that is Christmas. It is all about spending and buying and we don’t remember it is about spending time with family and friends and giving to those who are not as fortunate as most of us. There are things that we can absolutely do to help others. Whether it is simply donating to a cause that is important to you, giving to a charity that you have ties to or financially helping a family in need for the holidays.

For me Christmas is about giving, I was recently asked by a few family members what I wanted for Christmas, and I really didn’t have an answer. There isn’t really much I want or need and, in most cases, if there is something specific, I will just purchase it myself. I guess that also tells you where my mind has been as of late, trying to get things for everyone else, not my personal self. I don’t need anything for Christmas to be in a festive mood, I just like to keep it simple and see the smiles on the faces of the people who are important to me in my life.

The thing that people also forget about giving gifts for Christmas is that you don’t have to go overboard. You can keep things simple and get great gifts without breaking the bank. You don’t have to purchase the most expensive thing in the world to please a person. Sometimes the simple gift is the best gift and just listening makes all the difference at times. People sometimes are subtle when they hint what they want and if you just listen you know exactly the precise thing to give.

It is imperative that we instill in people that you don’t have to go into debt during the holidays. You can only do what you can do and leave the rest at the door. There is no goal in trying to please everyone, it is just an impossible feat to accomplish, so do what you can and don’t beat yourself up if you have to close up the bank. I mean, are you not going to pay bills to ensure you get everyone a Christmas gift? That is a just a crazy thing to do, and guess what, you shouldn’t do it.