But you have the right to reject that. Set your own expectations — and your own sane budget — for the period that runs from Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, and (if necessary) explain what you’re doing to family and friends.
Kids may be disappointed if gifts are scarcer or less pricey than in previous years, but if that’s your fiscal reality, it’s better to be honest. Going into debt to buy toys and gadgets that may end up forgotten in months or maybe even weeks sets a bad personal finance example for your offspring.
If you and your family have long-range goals that are incompatible with major holiday spending, make that clear. Maybe you intend to buy a house soon; perhaps you’re trying to pay down some debt. No matter the reason, it’s important to stick to your goals and not let the pressure of the season lure you into poor choices.
Simply being with friends and family during this season can bring you plenty of holiday joy. That’s true whether your crew is eating prime rib or pizza, and it’s true whether the football game you’re watching is on a big new television or the one you’ve had for years.
Disappointing your kids, friends, or family members may cause some momentary angst. If, however, you’re doing it for reasons that make your life better in the long run, then you’re being the responsible adult and teaching a valuable lesson (even if it’s one that many won’t be all that happy to learn).