It’s a week away from thanksgiving. The entire family is planning on getting together at one of the family member’s houses and I already know we are going to talk about how well everyone is doing, especially financially. After thanksgiving, it’s immediately Christmas. It’s about who has the biggest Christmas tree, who has the most decorations. As someone in America’s middle class, Christmas decorations around the house is not my first concern.
Anyone have a similar experience? Turning the holidays into a competition of who can afford more? In moments where family and love is more important, is money what we really want to focus on? In regards to interpersonal relationships with close friends and family members, or intrapersonal relationship, financial standing plays a dangerous role. In addition to these malignant comparisons, this holiday season is also hit with inflation where basic needs have gone up in price. In a time where financial stress could reach its peak, how do we manage our own emotions to prevent being consumed by clash of pride, guilt, and shame – we are about to find out!
In an article by Liz Frazier, a certified financial planner, she mentioned how “between gifts, travel, parties, food, donations and decorations, Americans are spending more than ever to keep up with their holiday traditions.”1 She continues that this is “especially true for parents of young children. ”1 When the entire nation is suffering from an all time high for consumer debt, it is heart wrenching to see the dilemma many people are facing during the holiday season. They also showed that 26% of adults were willing to receive no gifts, 25% of them preferring no gift exchanging, and lastly 15% of them abandoning the travel to go see their family.1 All of these statistics demonstrate the urgency to change the mindset people have towards holidays in order to prevent an enormous amount of financial stress to be piling up on different population groups.
There are a couple of tips that can be employed to prevent being crushed by the additional financial stress this season brings to us. First and foremost, it is important to acknowledge these financial fears, stress, and anxiety that you are feeling. Not only is it natural to feel this way in this day and age, it is important to remind ourselves that we are not alone in this. Lonesome, for some, may be the stem of the struggle – leading to the inability to ask for help. These emotions are entirely valid regardless of one’s socioeconomic status. Furthermore, a willingness to seek professional advice can further advance one’s capacity to overcome these anxious feelings throughout this season. Nonetheless, organization and a clear goal are equally necessary in managing one’s emotional state. Organization can help with understanding what needs to be done, and what doesn’t. On the other hand, our attainable goals can be the landmark to embody our values and beliefs.
Traditions do not need to end. Family gathering do not need to end. What needs to end, the financial self-sabotage during holidays.
- Frazier, L. (2020, December 16). Financial stress of the holidays cause many to rethink traditions. Forbes. Retrieved November 15, 2022, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/lizfrazierpeck/2019/11/14/financial-stress-of-the-holidays-cause-many-to-rethink-traditions/?sh=4cc76ef03b1e