Too much debt can turn the winter holidays into a depressing time.
But you don’t have to feel miserable during this year’s holiday season, no matter how dire your financial situation might seem.
Let go of unrealistic expectations about the holidays, and read on for advice on how to enjoy yourself even when you have too much debt.
Get into the Spirit
Whether you’re religious or not, and regardless of which faith you might observe, you can meditate on how to move beyond the commercialization that the winter holidays have become over the last century.
Guided meditation on getting out of debt is a helpful place to start, especially for those who are atheist, agnostic or simply not religious.
Free recordings with this theme abound on YouTube and even in mobile app format, and variations include advice on how to get through the holidays.
Remember How the Holidays Got Started
Now if you want to take a religious approach to this concept, it starts with remembering that none of the winter holidays started out as the commercialized phenomena we know them as today.
Ask a clergyperson of your faith for more detailed guidance on this, or search on Google for what your religion’s teachings have to say about ways to observe the holiday without focusing on money.
Volunteer to Help
One nice approach includes volunteering at a soup kitchen or other charity that feeds the poor or homeless during the holiday season.
Organizations involved in these activities include both secular and religious nonprofits, so you can choose one that aligns with your beliefs (or lack thereof).
Make Your Own Gifts
Making gifts can result in something much more customized and meaningful than anything you buy in a store.
It can be especially rewarding for parents to make gifts with their children as a way to teach them about thrift and resourcefulness during a time of year when they are bombarded by materialistic messages.
Even if you feel like you don’t have a craft-oriented bone in your body, you can still make cards and follow recipes for baking holiday cookies.
And f you can’t afford any of the requisite supplies, try sending greetings cards electronically and communicating sincerely about your budget constraints — the people you care about will probably understand.
So What if You Have Too Much Debt!
Don’t think any less of yourself just because your holiday season is different from the extravagance shown on TV and in the movies.
Right-size your expectations and focus on enjoying time with the people you care about, without making things focus on material goods.
Readers, what are your feelings about the holiday season this year?