How do you plan to keep a lid on your Christmas and holiday spending this year?

By selling my children. And maybe also a kidney.

That will both keep a lid on spending, and raise some bucks at this most expensive time of year.

Sure, saying farewell will be sad. Maybe I can arrange visitation rights. Will the guy who buys my kidney want to catch up for coffee?

Kids add exponentially to the cost of Christmas. But that cost has always been outweighed by the fun that DebtBoy, 5, and DebtGirl, 4, turned Christmas into.

However, it’s present overload. Between now and December 24, my children will receive a dozen or more presents at various parties. And for every one they receive, we’ll have bought the equivalent. Then there’s Christmas Day itself. They’ll have forgotten who bought what by the time the Boxing Day test starts.

I won’t be alone, but what my kids want most from me is quality time. Teaching them to ride a bike, to read, to play cricket. That’s the stuff they’ll remember.

Christmas activities – movies, fun parks, etc – can also be a financial drain. But days at the beach, rolling along a bike path or learning to read don’t have to cost a thing. My “plan” is to do more of that.

And, anyway, I’m not the adult in my house in charge of Christmas spending. Mrs DebtMan does the shopping for the 15,000 others we seem to exchange gifts with.

So, given selling body parts is illegal and the child slave trade never took off in Australia, I’ll be reduced to begging. “Mrs DebtMan, could you please thrash the plastic a little less this year?”

Bruce Brammall is the author of Debt Man Walking ( and principal adviser with Castellan Financial Consulting.