Free Essay

Take Control of the Holidays

In: Social Issues

Submitted By pathos
Words 392
Pages 2
Most adults today harken back to their youth to pull out their favorite images of the holiday season. We remember the tree, with its sparkling lights, laden with ornaments from Christmas past and present, with brightly colored packages crammed around its base, with smells of hot chocolate, cinnamon and vanilla wafting through the air.
But as we morph into adulthood, our images of the holiday season tend to sour somewhat. Replacing thoughts of the tree, fuzzy slippers, presents and a roaring fireplace, are thoughts of crowded malls, insane traffic, frazzled, angry shoppers and a holiday budget that seems to shrink while prices tend to skyrocket. It makes us want to scream “enough already.”
Oftentimes the reality of getting through the holidays can be a mix of holding on to holiday traditions, while looking for new traditions that work in today’s environment. Get family, extended family and friends involved in planning holiday events. Get each person to go back to their childhood and pull out one or two traditions that can be freshened and updated to hold the interest of family members today and passed along to future generations.
There’s no need to spend a ton of money on these traditions; look for low- or no-cost activities such as ice skating, visiting a downtown holiday display or attend an interfaith or cultural celebration. Even start a tradition of volunteering in the community. If the family is split up across the country or on the other side of the world, look to take advantage of today’s technology and opportunities to video chat to bring the family closer together.
If holiday budgets seem to be getting less and costing more, consider alternatives to buying expensive gifts. Determine how much to spend on each person on your list and look for ways to stay within or even trim that budget. Look at such things as homemade gifts through handmade crafts, or baked goods to supplement store bought items. Try to buy gifts before the holiday season gets here to avoid last minute “spending sprees.” And, when possible, try shopping alone rather than with friends and other family members. It’s less distracting, and will help stay on budget.
When you’re in control of the holidays (instead of the other way around), you can greet the new year with an optimistic outlook instead of mounting debt.

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