Ah, the holidays we say these days. The winter holidays. Can't say the religious ones, can we? The stores are mostly full of holiday trees and winter themes. Be bold and talk about what you actually celebrate!
But, anyway, on to the money aspect. The Christmas season is huge for retailers. It's when they make the bulk of their profits. It's gold for them. They need us to buy. But always remember, it's our choice whether we buy or not.
The Consumerist has a report from All Financial Matters with six tips for surviving the season with your budget intact.
The Consumerist takes issue with the last item, which involves actually (gasp) talking with your family to coordinate gift efforts. I think that is a great idea, although it's quite a loaded issue for many families. I finally had the talk with my extended family a few years ago. Essentially, I asked if we could please stop the obligatory gift giving amoung the adults. Keep giving gifts to the kids, but don't feel that a gift must be bought for each adult. Most took it not just well, but as a relief and ever since, the gift tide has ebbed. Less clutter, less unnecessary spending, more happiness.