Just in Time for Holidays: No Job

Families struggle to save traditions on Tiny Tim budgets
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 30, 2008 5:03 AM CST
Just in Time for Holidays: No Job
Budget-crunched seek light in the dark days.   (©PugnoM)

Few things ruin the holidays like losing a job. Yet that's what's happening to thousands of Americans just as they were planning to treat friends and families to gifts and holiday gatherings. The turnaround is excruciating as families struggle to save traditions on extremely tight budgets, reports the New York Times. Lavish feasts are being transformed into potluck get-togethers, and parents are turning to churches and synagogues for gifts for their children.

Experts say kids can survive pared-down holidays even though less-than-extravagant gifts  "somehow became a sign of bad parenting," said one. Children can achieve "a sense of plentifulness in a different way than gifts," said a therapist, who suggested parents pass on a gift from their parents. But tight times are taking a big toll. "They're good kids," said one grandmother who can't afford anything for her grandchildren. "It hurts."
(More financial crisis stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.