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The One Holiday Trap You Want to Avoid

Christmas season is my favorite time of year.

The lights. The music. The parties. The chill in the air. It’s just magical!

I love visiting friends’ houses or seeing their photos on social media during the Christmas season. The trick, though, is to not let all the festivity take you down the path of comparison living—and that’s an easy trap to fall into during the holidays.

If you’re on social media, you know what I’m talking about. It’s the photo a friend posted of their beautifully lit two-story house with the caption “#blessed.” Or the Christmas vacation a coworker is taking to Vail. Or the new Tory Burch purse another friend received from her husband. Those are all great things, but only if you can afford them!

At any moment, you can pull out your phone, open Facebook, and see hundreds of photos and status updates about things you don’t have. The truth is that you can’t keep up with the Joneses, and you shouldn’t want to. The Joneses are broke—flat broke.

They might be going on expensive vacations or buying designer purses, but the numbers say they’re probably using a lot of debt to “afford” it all. If you want to be normal, then be like the Joneses. But I want you to be different. I want you to be weird.

That means you’re not going to buy things you can’t afford, even during the Christmas season. That also means you’re going to ignore the social media comparisons—and even get off Facebook for a while if that’s what it takes.

One of the best things you can do is to make a list of things you’re grateful for. It’s so simple yet so effective in making you readjust your thoughts during the holidays.

There’s always going to be someone who has more stuff and nicer stuff. And if you’re always in search of more, then you’ll never have enough.

So this Christmas, strive to find contentment in where you are in life and what you already have. Find ways to be grateful for everything you’ve been blessed with, not just the glitzy and glamorous stuff we’re tempted to show off on social media (#blessed).

By letting go of the comparisons, you’ll find true contentment and a much more merry holiday season.


  • MTR

    Thank you. A several years ago, my family decided to draw names and keep the gift under $25. One gift. No pressure. No stress. No competition. Just togetherness. Great choice.

  • Michelle-Joy

    Oh so good. What a perfect timing of this wise article! Thank you! Now I believe this Christmas season will be filled with all the more joy !

  • Helena Cruz

    Love the post. So true.

  • Brenda

    I needed to see this. Thank you.

  • Leigh Anne Prewitt

    Thank you for this reminder. Already, my husband and I have had to take breaks from Facebook so that we don’t see all the vacation and early Christmas gift pictures. We are “living like no one else” so that we can “live like no one else” in the (hopefully) near future! But, the temptation is still there. We just take a long breath and continue on our way!

  • Kevin

    Beautiful, Priceless, Thank You.

  • I use to line the living room floor with gifts for my kids at Christmas, and in debt past our eye balls. But now thanks to your dads advice Iam debt free. And will stay that way. I am content with just about $500 a month. I live with my daughter cause i am now a widow. I have faith & family & friends ! I have more then I really need and am so happy and blessed more then I deserve. I have not said anything to your dad but I need to say Thank you from the bottom of my heart to him for what he does for america! He has no idea how many of us he has helped! Thank you Mr Dave Ramsey and family!

  • Kim Riley

    Thank you. We took your course at our church Grace Bible church in Va. Beach , va. Earlier this year . Since the class , my life has changed and my perspective is so different . Earlier this year I Stopped using credit cards for the first time in 30 years . This is truly a miracle from God as He is the real strength behind my determined effort. My husband and I are slowly paying off all debts. We are selling things and following the Ramsey principles best we can . This I am so grateful for the principles learned at the Dave Ramsey course and mostly thankful for the supernatural power of Jesus Christ to help heal my previous frame of mind about finances and debt. I did not learn financial responsibility as a child, but God has fixed everything here in my adult life and Dave Rams has been a vessel for God to reach me. God bless and thanks ! Kim Riley

  • Sarah

    What if God only left us what we thanked Him for yesterday?

  • Susan

    Just what i needed to read and think about as i saw pics friends had posted and im thinking about how my house isnt even decorated yet! I hate comparing myself but it happens, and im so glad to hv read this! It set me thinking Godly thots vs earthly thots! Thank u so much

  • Laurie


  • Claudia Bell

    Thanks for the reminder! We’ve always had a budget for Christmas, but it’s still easy to get carried away at times.

  • Kelly

    Thank you! I love looking at the posts on fb and yes, I’m a little sad that we aren’t traveling somewhere sunny. I’m so thankful for our many blessings. I told my daughters the best part of Christmas is spending time with them and singing carols together at church. I am so looking forward to snuggling, playing games and baking together. Three trips to the mall so far, and only three purchases. Christmas is more than a pile of junk no one will remember three months from now. ?

  • Todd Bright

    With 3 small babies, this time of year brings an overwhelming sense of duty and responsibility to me. I feel my role, as a father, is not to teach my kids that Christmas is about getting gifts and stuff and gluttony. Rather, I feel it is my responsibility to teach them about giving, gratitude, and why we really celebrate Christ’s birth. Great article, Rachel.