CAP Suffolk Coastal Debt Centre.
CAP’s heart is to not only help people with their financial circumstances, but also to share the love of Jesus, especially at Christmas time. We are here to bring the good news to people in isolation, people struggling with mental health challenges, those facing relationship breakdown or experiencing joblessness. We are here to bring hope to those who feel as though there’s no way out, because even in the most testing of times, with God by our side, there is always hope. In doing this CAP Suffolk Coastal Debt Centre have been busy seeing Clients and making up eight hampers in these last couple of weeks from all your donations. We have also had two new Clients making the brave step to contact us and begin their journey with CAP to Debt Freedom.
To avoid getting into debt this Christmas our advice is simple: have the Christmas you can afford. It takes all the stress out of it and there’s loads you can do that is more affordable.”
“It’s tempting to take out credit and pay it off through the coming year but, after a year like 2020, none of us know what 2021 will bring.
CAP’s Top Ten Feel Good Tips for a Simpler Christmas.
- Keep the list of those you buy for very short. Try a children-only rule for presents or set a target amount for each.
- Plan for a social media get-together. Aim for a loving atmosphere rather than the focus being on presents. Schedule some facetime when your family can all get together in a socially distanced way so that you still get to see each other’s faces and share a time of fun and joy together.
- Manage expectations within the family. Tell them that you are doing it differently this year and explain why – they may well be more understanding than you think. see if you can club together with other members of the family if more expensive items are needed.
- Seek ways of getting everyone involved. Get your teens to produce a Christmas playlist. Spend time making something. It’s not about the result so much. It’s about the doing of it – especially if with others. Make bread, or Christmas biscuits, cut out strips of magazines or junk mail and make paper chains to decorate the house.
- Connect with church. If you want all the Christmas meaning with none of the cost, surely church is one way forward. Here at St Johns Saxmundham Benefice we have online services happening each week, so please get your hot chocolate and mince pie and sit back and watch what God is doing in our Church Family.
- Have a Christmas Film Night or games night. It doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated to be worth doing. Grab a Christmassy film and a fancy hot chocolate or organise a supermarket pizza and games night for the family.
- Go radical: postpone Christmas. Put it off for a couple of days and you will have cheap food, cheap presents, cheap decorations and it could be the most fun you’ve had. You can even get the Queen’s Speech on BBC iPlayer.
- Make your own Christmas Vouchers. We don’t all need expensive presents but there are some things we may value even more. A homemade voucher to cook a take away meal for a couple or family, delivered by you on a night of thier choosing. A car-washing, Breakfast in bed. A home-cooked candlelight dinner. A picnic at the park (or lake or beach, etc.) or An evening of babysitting. Get creative and make it fun.
- Buy Secondhand or Make your Presents. These are some of the most special presents as they come with a lot of time and thought. Finding that unique item in a Charity shop will bless not only the recipient but the charity too. Hademade items are made with time and love and can have much more meaning as well.
- Give to charity. The season of goodwill is more about giving than receiving. Christians Against Poverty helps some of the poorest families in the UK. Will you help them this year? CAPuk.org/Christmas.
There’s no doubt that Christmas 2020 will be very different. But nothing can stop the love of God reaching down to us all at Christmas time and giving us hope as we approach a New Year.
Karen Storer CAP Suffolk Coastal Debt Centre Manager.