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What should I think about if either my partner or I are unemployed and we cannot afford to purchase gifts?

Unemployment can definitely take an added toll during the holidays, but there are many ways to still have a wonderful holiday season, even on a very tight budget. Regifting, giving your time instead of things, and making a beautiful or tasty homemade gift are all possibilities, and can be even more meaningful than spending money at the store. Here are some other ideas:

  • Write a note to your friends telling them how special they are to you and how grateful you are for their friendship, a truly priceless gift and one they will cherish and never forget.
  • Host the Christmas party and have everyone else bring the food, entertainment, drinks, etc. More often than not, the host ends up with more leftovers than they know what to do with after the party. People will appreciate the "gift" of your hosting the party.
  • Another option is coordinating with your family to do a gift exchange. This way each person only buys one gift and it even allows an opt-out for those who don't want to participate or cannot afford to buy any gifts this season.
  • Also, do NOT be guilted into getting someone a gift just because they got you something. This is a main reason why many people are up to their ears in debt - because they wanted to keep up with the Jones' and felt obligated to get someone a gift just because they received one.