Spend! Lots! Fast! I've got to find the perfect present!  Go!  Now! Black Friday!  Six fewer shopping days this year! Whoa! I want stuff for me too!  Want, need, desire, hanker, cling, have longing...  Suffer? There it is again — the season of spending shouting at us. So how do we go through the most commercial time of the year and stay financially sober? First, don't debt. Don't spend more than you can pay off at the end of December when the bill comes.  It sounds simple, but a huge number of people go into debt every holiday season and then spend the rest of the year paying -- or not paying -- the bills.  Long after the excitement has worn off, the monthly bills come due with compounded interest, choking the joy out of earning, and giving. So, when you are shopping, consider what is real for you.  What can you afford and what does your ego want you to look like you can afford? Please, be gentle this holiday season. And if you can't, please go to debtorsanonymous.org and find a meeting or at least read a little bit about compulsive spending.  After all, 'tis the season.