Try to set out a budget before Christmas shopping. Unless you enjoy the chaos and traffic of malls, try to shop online. Don’t let overspending at Christmas cause you to eat more, now, and then later when the bills come due.
For most adults, I give books as gifts – simple, but hopefully personalized. For kids, often gift certificates, if they’re old enough to make decisions.
Focus on traditions, and make new ones
Barlow’s first message is timeless, and it applies to Christmas, Hanukkah and other seasonal holidays: Focus on family time and traditions rather than material things.
“I encourage families to get back to basics,” Dr. Barlow says. “What are the things that you do that are important to you? It could be baking with your children. It could be decorating the tree.”
If you establish the importance of traditions and family — particularly with younger children — they will focus more on the spirit of the season and less on the hot new toy everybody wants.