DR. E. CAROL WEBSTER’S
CELEBRATE WITHIN YOUR MEANS THIS HOLIDAY SEASON
E. Carol Webster, Ph.D.
Original Copyright © 2012
Though the economy is starting to improve, this progress is slow so don’t get carried away this holiday and spend more than you can afford. While the storybook holiday would be great, let it go if it really isn’t within your reach this year.
Depressing as it may make you feel, set a budget for decorations, entertaining and gifts and stick to it. Discuss economic limitations openly with family and friends, and do so proudly. Rather than feeling ashamed, setting limits demonstrates control of your life and the ability to handle your finances responsibly. Be creative in your gift-giving and limit the total to what you can afford.
Don’t Be the Hospitality Open House
If this is a tight year for you, don’t take on the role of Holiday Central and try to entertain and house everyone. Host a simple get together if you want to, but ask guests to bring a dish or their own drinks. Let family and friends know that you’re on a budget this year and if they’re coming to visit, they’re going to be on their own. It’s fine to let them shop for groceries and to go out to eat without you. Pick one outing to enjoy together if you can, but leave it at that. No, it’s not your ideal holiday celebration but it’s your reality this year.
Just Say “No”
If this year is an all out bust because you’re still not working or are just getting back on your feet, Just Say “No”. Don’t let your pride get in the way and create further debt and distress for you in the New Year. When you get that phone call announcing “We’re coming to visit for the holidays!” it’s okay to say “We’d love to have you, but we just can’t swing it this year.” Stand your ground. Though it may be custom and economical for friends and relatives to sleep on the couch or pile on the floor in the spirit of togetherness for the holidays, your food and utility bills will be higher even if you’re only providing the bare minimum. In a state of un- or under-employment, any increase in expenses is more than you can afford. And even if guests buy their own food and pay for what they think your increased expenses will be, there will always be that extra detergent for those extra loads of laundry and cleaning supplies to get your house back in order after they leave that’s not likely included. Yes, it makes you feel awful to think that things have come to this – But they have come to this, so don’t do what you can’t afford this year.
The holidays bring more stress and angst if you know you are doing more and spending more than you can afford to. Yes, it’s the season of giving, but don’t make a show of giving what you really don’t have. Accept your reality this year and look forward to better times ahead in the years to come!
Read more about Coping During the Holidays:
Holiday Gift Giving
Holiday Office Parties
Holiday Season is Great Time for Networking
Shrink Spending This Holiday Season
About the Author:
Dr. E. Carol Webster is a clinical psychologist consultant in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
She is author of the book for those dealing with the stress of success ―
Success Management: How to Get to the Top and Keep Your Sanity Once You Get There,
The Fear of Success: Stop It From Stopping You! ―
the book to help you overcome fears that may be holding you back in your life and career
The Private Practice of Clinical Psychology in: Voices of Historical & Contemporary Black American Pioneers
To contact Dr. Webster visit online at http://drcarolwebster.com or call 954.797.9766.
E. Carol Webster, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychology Consulting
Mailing Address: 7027 West Broward Boulevard, #262 Fort Lauderdale, FL 33317
Reprint Policy: You are welcome to reprint this article for your personal use and to share with friends and associates.
Contact Dr. Webster to obtain permission for any commercial purposes.