Friday, November 23, 2012

Christmas Clubs

When I was young, my Mom opened a Christmas Club account at our bank every January. The reason I remember this so vividly was the cute little "payment" book that came with opening the account with a cute picture of Santa on the front.

The purpose of this account (for those clueless of this activity) was to set aside a specific amount of money periodically throughout the year so that by the end of November, there was money set aside for Christmas shopping. The interest earned on this account was minimal at best but the goal was to be disciplined to save specifically for the biggest shopping season of the year.  Each little payment booklet had stubs to use when making your deposits. Mom explained to me that she and my Dad would decide how much money they wanted to have for the next Christmas, then decide what each payment needed to be.  She'd deposit this payment in a separate account that would accumulate until the end of that year's account when Mom would withdraw the money and start her shopping. It was like a layaway for money.

In this day and age of credit card debt, Black Friday madness, and the idol of materialism, the beautiful art of Christmas Club accounts has been lost.  In all my years, I never once saw my Mom stress over Christmas shopping bills.

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