"Unemployment Stress and the Holidays"
December 7, 2010 by John Manni & Doug Barton
We hear from many unemployed people that holidays are exceptionally stressful, especially those associated with gift giving. There are many reasons why this is understandable. It is hard to be joyful when one hasn’t gotten over having lost one’s job. Secondly, it’s hard to feel generous when regular income has been greatly reduced, if not eliminated. Realistically, a new position may not appear before the New Year. Focusing solely on your lack of resources will only amplify your level of stress. Frankly, family and friends understand your situation and would prefer that you not dig yourself into a deeper hole. Those close to you will most likely feel good knowing that you are not fretting away this holiday season.
Experience is sometimes the best teacher. Many of you may recall from older relatives who lived through The Great Depression, holidays were no less joyous when a typical gift might have been an orange or a bag of candy. Maybe this is a year when you re-think gift giving and come up ideas that don’t put a crimp in your wallet.
Here are some examples:
1. Make some CDs of your favorite music that others might enjoy.
2. Has someone admired one of your possessions you no longer need? Imagine how appreciative the recipient would be if you gave them something you personally valued.
3. Create a photo album of memorable moments shared with a loved one.
4. There are tons of things that can come out of your kitchen like baked goods, preserves, pickled veggies, or your favorite sauces.
5. How about creating gift certificates good for car washes, household chores, or baby-sitting?
We’d like to hear your suggestions. Not only for economical gifts, but for ways you can avoid the holiday blues.