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Celebrate with N,  Life with N

Bracing For The Holidays

Whether or not you go for a big shibang during the holiday season, the fact of the matter is, the holiday season can take a hit on your wallet.

According to a survey done by the Retail Council of Canada the average Canadian spends $675.00 on the holidays. That included everything from gifts, to food. Now, what happens if you are on a fixed income, or a low income, or maybe no income, and you simply can`t afford the holidays?

When did the Holidays become such a big extravaganza?

Are we buying like this because we WANT to, or because we feel we are obligated?

Christmas (the holidays season) feels like it comes with a certain standard, and a certain set of rules. From gift giving, to the massive feasts, to beautiful stockings, and of course all the parties.

The typical Christmas in Canada consists of decorating trees, sometimes real, other times artificial, and sometimes even multiple trees!

Then there are all the other decorations such as lights, garland, bows, lawn decorations, outside lights, candy canes, wreaths, and more. Many hang stockings, and have a big Christmas dinner with turkey, potatoes, veggies, and more.

Then of course, there are all the gifts. I would bet that most Canadians participate in gift giving.

Many give to co-workers and friends, as well as, their family. The pressures to be able to keep up, and create that magical wonderland year, after year, are HUGE.

Another sore spot can often be the alcohol. Many of us avoid alcohol, and opt for a sober life, but there can be a lot of pressure at Christmas time, which can worsen your mental health, and mental illness symptoms.

For some, alcohol may send them back into a downward spiral, and for others, it may make them sick from the combination of that and their medications.

The amount of food that there is, everywhere, all the time, and the pressure to continously consume it, can be a HUGE trigger.

So, how do you do it? How does it affect you?

Personally, it is an incredibly stressful time for me. My mental health declines more and more as the day gets closer and closer. It hurts my budget so much, because, it`s hard to budget for it, if you are already at your limit. The pressure that is everywhere of how Christmas should be done, makes me feel almost inferior because I can`t give my children that wonderland.

But, there is another side of me that feels like this is not what I want to teach my children anyways.

Christmas in the sense of family, friends, and loved ones is lovely. I don`t have a lot of family, so nothing really changes on my end, but for others it looks wonderful. But, Christmas in the sense of S O M U C H S T U F F, I don`t want to pass that down to them.

I feel like sometimes that`s what it becomes about. More and more stuff. More decorations, more trees, more lights, more presents, and it seems each and every year there is an obligation for it to be more than last year.

I always go back and forth with my feelings on the holiday season, but find that the stress becomes enormous when the season arrives.

This year, we are a one income family, and while we are making ends meet, we are not left with very much at the end of the day. I haven`t really figured out how we will manage it, but hopefully we will!

I asked Twitter how they felt about the holiday season and how they managed it, and here is what some said:

I do both. I give a budget and participate in gift giving. When it comes to my kids I can go a little out of control. However for myself I’m very stingy. For others I set a strict budget. Chastity

I budget for the holidays starting around October. I participate in gift-giving as well but try to find bargain deals. I don’t have a huge family or group of friends & my son is still little, so this usually works out for me. Soulful Sammi

Prefer online gift ideas , eco friendly ! Yes! Holidays always depend on budget. Accordingly I plan the place. Less budget means one or 2 day holiday in country otherwise abroad!!! Journey of Life Continues

I have to admit that every year I say “we’re not going to spend much this Christmas” and every year we end up spending more than we would’ve liked..! Christmas is just such a special time and, especially with two young children, I can’t help but get carried away! My Anxious Life

We have a budget we try to stick to for family. With friends we have decided to only buy for the children and instead go out for a meal all together xXx Leah

It makes me sad to think of what the expectations of the holidays already are, and that it is only going to grow more and more.

But, the holidays are also such a fun, and magical time of year, it`s hard to not indulge.

How do you manage the holidays? Any tips?

Love Always, N

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3 Comments

  • Mykki

    The holidays became a lot easier for me to manage in a lot of ways after I decided to opt out altogether. I don’t go to parties, I don’t go to massive feasts, I don’t shop for gifts,….I just stopped doing Christmas. And honestly, best decision I made for myself.

    I’m happy just to look at all the pretty lights.

  • Beth Gray

    I think it’s great to address how you feel before the time arrives – for me, the holiday season is about activities with little miss 6 that she truly enjoys – so while it can be “hair-pulling”, because I get impatient and hate cleaning up the mess afterwards – it’s also about creating memories.
    I don’t tend to spend a lot of money – I try to spend time and make moments!

  • Anna Nicholson

    You’re so right. I absolutely love Christmas time because my family has a lot of traditions for the season, but there is definitely a lot of stress that comes with everything. I think the most important part of the season should be spending time with loved ones, but it can be hard to stay mentally and financially stable during this time. I hope that all this pressure will someday be removed and people can just celebrate however they want to!

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