Are you thinking about the holiday season and all of the gifts that you expected to buy? It’s time to start thinking differently. After all, there’s no one that can ignore the global recession and the effect that it’s having on just about every country around the world. So you really need to make sure that you focus on the bigger picture before anything else. You want to always make sure that you can think about the things that really matter rather than just feeling like there’s no way to get past things that are really bothering you. Money is a stressor in numerous families, no matter how much actual money is being made. It never feels like enough, but that’s not really the point of this guide per se.

You see, there’s a lot of pressure on most families around the country to have to spend more than what they can afford on Christmas because there’s always a desire to please. What you are going to have to do is be firm and expect that eventually, your family will understand and even appreciate it. The goal here is to make sure that you are actually taking care of your family for the long term and not just the short term.

The first step that you want to take is to make sure that you start early when it comes to getting your family to agree with what you’re trying to get done. There’s no point in trying to wait till the last minute to tell them that you’re thinking about alternatives to Christmas gifts.

You want to actually stop and give them a lot of time to let the news soak in. They might already be supportive. If you already know the issues that are happening to your family right here and right now, then they know them as well. There’s no reason to argue about anything when you can just apply common sense and get out of a sticky situation. Life will also run a lot smoother if you really think about their best interests in the long run. Sure, at first they might feel like you’re trying to punish them but once they see that the family as a whole will run a lot better in the long run, then life will get better too.

There are plenty of alternatives to the big Christmas rush. Maybe you can turn it into a day where the family does an activity that focuses on people that have a lot less than you do. Even if you think that your budget is tight, what about a family whose children don’t have any toys at all? What about a family where one or more people struggle to read and write? You might not think that groups like this exist but it’s actually quite true. So it’s really in your favor to make sure that you can make ends meet while still giving your family a taste of the holiday season.

We’re also not suggesting that you have to give up all gifts in order to stay out of debt. If you want to scale down the money amounts, then you’re definitely free to do so. This is a time of year that really should be about what you make of it, not just what people think the holiday season should be. In fact, the assumption that all of our holidays need to be about spending money is exactly what’s causing so many problems in our culture to begin with. Yet you can rise above that and create a life that truly gets you and your family everything you wanted all along — why not make sure that you get started today?

By Jasmina