Family Relationships

Join other women in the sandwich generation - share ideas and solutions as you learn to nourish family relationships without starving yourself.

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Sandwich Generation: Preparing for the Holidays

The economic struggles and crisis in confidence have lasted far too long. And the hardships are particularly evident during the holiday season. Are you feeling stretched by the financial pressure? If you're facing tough buying decisions, the responsibilities of the holidays may even be getting you down. These are challenging times for the Sandwich Generation.

This year you may just have to let go of the idea of a perfect Christmas, Hanukah or Kwanzaa.

Photo courtesy of Asnat -

Even though it's important to honor the tradition of giving, the accumulation of material things can't hold a candle to the gift that matters most. Bringing cheer to others is a great way to cheer you up as well. And you can do it without breaking into your savings account. With the holidays fast approaching, you certainly don't want to add more pressure to your life. So follow these ideas to keep stress in check as you focus on more joy and less stuff:

Give the gift of connection. Put more heart in your relationships. Arrange a regular weekly date with your parents. Invite them to lunch, a museum or the movies. Send a card to an old friend with whom you've lost contact. Enclose a recent family photo, your email address and a promise to keep in touch. Drive an elderly neighbor to the grocery store, a doctor's appointment or the library.

Give to a worthy cause.
Get the family or a group of friends together and spend a couple of hours helping out at a homeless shelter. Pass forward gifts you've received or bring some hardly used toys and clothes. Buy a small present for a homeless person you regularly pass on the street and make eye contact when you give it. Put a big smile on your face and help cook Christmas dinner at a soup kitchen. Make a donation to Aunt Mary's favorite charity; every gift counts no matter how much you spend.

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