Though it may feel like coal in your Christmas stocking at first, our Christmas Cash Challenge really is a way to give yourself the kind of present that lasts throughout the year. Let your credit cards be your adult elf on a shelf and stash them in places you can’t reach easily during the Christmas season. Without quick access to them, you can avoid spontaneous over-spending. A cash-only Christmas requires discipline, but it’s the kind of hard work that makes you and your presents more thoughtful and genuine. Anyone can click a link and mass purchase an eye-catching trinket. To find the true spirit of Christmas, and save yourself the true pain of February bills, you need to think hard about all of the special people on your gift list and remember that the best gifts come from your heart, not your credit line. You’ll have far less buyer’s remorse when you pay with cash because you only have to think how much you’ve spent once – at the time of purchase. Pay with a credit card and you think about the cost three times – when you’ve made the purchase, when you receive your credit card bill, and when you pay that bill. Cash purchases are much cleaner. It’s harder to part with cash when you can watch it dwindle from the palm of your hand. You can swipe your credit card pretty effortlessly but, while the card itself will still look shiny and new, that tiresome debt will continue to accumulate. Celebrate St. Nick Day the old fashioned way, with cash. We challenge you to put your credit card away for all 19 of the remaining shopping days until Christmas. We promise you’ll be glad you did.