Photo: Getty Images
With Christmas and other holidays coming up, it’s just another chance for a lot of people to get stressed over gifts, parties and other aspects of the holidays that involve money.
Most of us remember at least some inkling of what these holidays truly mean to us, but many businesses are profiting from the less meaningful side of the holidays – our obsession with money and materialism.
Pauline Wallin, a clinical psychologist from Pennsylvania, suggested there could be a slight change in the focus on money during this rough economy.
“Being thrifty is ‘in’ now,” Wallin said. “Even among big corporations, they don’t want to be ostentatious and flying around in their private jets. Everybody is trying to not be that flamboyant with money.”
Because of many women’s tight wallets, Wallin suggests some things to think about during the holidays to avoid the money obsession.
For example, she said that most children don’t remember what they received last year for Christmas.
“For all the agony that parents have for getting exactly the right present for their kid and making them happy, the kid may not even remember it,” Wallin said.
When she has dealt with children in her practice, it seems that children don’t put much of an emphasis on blaming their parents for not getting them the desired gifts. They tend to realize that their parents' money is limited.
“Parents need to chill out a little bit,” Wallin said. “They’re not necessarily bad parents if they don’t spend a lot of money.”
She does suggest women should celebrate a little during the holidays with parties and dinners, but the cost of the food doesn’t matter.
“Being creative in terms of how it’s displayed, how it’s served, the warmth of the group – that’s what people will remember,” Wallin said.
She gives the example of a bride stressing out over what type of food she will order for her wedding, but most people will not remember what they even ate.
“What you think is important now is not necessarily the most important thing,” Wallin said. “This is a chance for people to be creative, to make home-baked or homemade food that you can’t get anywhere.”