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Christmas does not have to equate high credit card debt

Michigan residents cannot deny that we are now in the full swing of the Christmas shopping season. Retailers are inundating consumers with television and print ads promising huge savings and holiday bargains, and many of us will take the bait. Unfortunately, when the bills from Christmas shopping roll in January, many will find that they have added to an already dire credit card debt situation.

A recent poll conducted by NBC News provides a shocking statement. When asked, as many as 45 percent of Americans would prefer to simply skip the holidays altogether due to the high costs of Christmas. This indicates that something is truly amiss in the American social scheme when almost half of the population would rather skip Christmas than deal with the hassles of gift buying.

However, it is important to remember that the holidays are a time to spend with the people we love. Unfortunately, Christmas has become unnecessarily bogged down with gift-giving and excessive spending. There are plenty of ways to celebrate the holidays without having to put the costs on credit, and the end result will last a lot longer than the excitement of a pile of wrapped gifts.

For many, high levels of credit card debt have so outpaced earning potential that a critical point has been reached. When an individual simply cannot cover his or her debt load, alternative measures must be considered. Bankruptcy, while not the chosen option for many Michigan residents, can provide a fresh start through the discharge of most consumer debt. This can give individuals the breathing space required to rebuild both their credit and financial stability, which will make future holidays a little bit brighter.

Source: Deseret News, "In our opinion: Christmas credit card debt a tradition we could do without," Nov. 26, 2012

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