There’s a lot of “wonder” during the holiday season, but not the kind they sing about in Christmas carols or talk about in holiday TV specials.
Instead, people wonder if they can afford much of anything on their kids’ Christmas list. They wonder if the season will mean racking up more credit card debt. They wonder if they can pull together the money required to travel to see loved ones. With already busy schedules, they wonder if they’ll be able to create those “magical moments” for their kids.
For many, it can be a time of stress. In fact, the American Psychological Association found that women, especially, report higher levels of stress during the holidays -- 44 percent of women compared to 31 percent of men.
Families earning between $30,000 and $50,000 a year, the report says, are particularly vulnerable. More than half -- 53 percent -- find that their stress escalates during the holidays as they try to figure out how they can stretch their budget to include all of those holiday extras.
It certainly can be difficult to appreciate the joy of the season when you’re focused on finding -- and buying -- the hottest toy and then standing in line to see Santa, only to hear your child wants something else instead.
If you’re filled with this kind of “wonder” as the holidays near, maybe it’s time to reshuffle your thinking. Instead of focusing on the most generous gift you can give your friends and loved ones, think about how you can give to them -- thoughtfully.
Giving thoughtfully can take a bit more time than just filling up a cart with toys, clothes, and other items to wrap up as gifts. But, when you spend the time, your thoughtful gifts will seem just as generous -- probably even more.
The CESI Team is committed to helping you reach your financial goals. If debt keeps you from living the life you dream of, contact us for a free debt analysis today and get started on the road to a brighter future!
Consumer Education Services, Inc. (CESI) is a non-profit service provider of comprehensive personal financial education and solutions for all life stages and for all of life’s milestones. Our goal is enhanced economic security for everyone we serve.
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