Christmas Countdown Week One:The list


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It’s the first Sunday of Advent. Yuletide is here. The sight of Macy’s Santa at the end of their annual Thanksgiving parade is like sounding off the national  starter gun for the race to December 24th. Of course, you know what that means–holiday anxiety.  What do you say at the various parties when asked, “what do you do?” Being the object of pitying looks at a family holiday gathering: good grief!

Gift shopping while unemployed at holiday time feels like being in a blazing white spotlight. Does everybody in this whole department know? Do I have to talk out loud to the credit card carrier who denied the card while standing at the head of the line with thirty people listening but averting their eyes and the nicely dressed sales associate looking over the top of her glasses? What a hole in the heart opens up as the woman wearing the Movado watch purchases the gorgeous Renaissance ornaments that would have gone home in my Big Brown Bag last year. Being unemployed at holiday time adds a special sour note to the music, dilutes the drinks with salt water and makes the mince pie tasteless. Choices. These are a few of my “survival tactics” for the holiday gift and decorating dilemma:

According to circumstances, downscale the gifts, home decorating and parties

Learn ways to celebrate the holidays without the usual associated spending spree. Find free and low-cost events to attend in the neighborhood

Use artistic talent to create hand crafted and home baked decorations and gifts for special people. Thrifty ideas abound on line.

Rethink the meaning of the season. Decide what is truly significant about the seasonal celebrations

Relax. Calm down. Practice kindness to your own soul. Not being able to spend any money does not spell personal failure

Last of all, holiday time is a great time for network expansion–seed from networking events might spring up as leads, interviews and new business next season. I make it a point to sow generously….BANG! And…they’re off!

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