Can a Widow Be Generous Without Going Broke?

Widows are not usually in the Christmas mood, and so sometimes they try to get in the spirit by over shopping for their loved ones.  But be careful because when depressed, it’s easy to seek out that temporary high by shopping.

Watch your money, it slips out of our bank accounts way too easy.  I think rather than luxuries, people want practical things they can use every day.  That’s why gift cards are great, but to make yours extra special, include a thoughtful note recounting a found memory you share.

Everyone looks forward to an activity and if you can include yourself in that experience, it’s a win-win for you both.  Just write a note like, “I’m taking you out to … and it’s a surprise”.  You can do anything from lunch, a concert, a visit to a local attraction, shopping, and the list goes on.  Unfortunately, for 2020 Christmas you may have a little delay before you can do it, but it will make it even more special.

One Christmas, years ago, my older sister Jane gave me a “blessing bowl”.  She wrote out 365 positive quotes, messages and affirmations on small coloured slips of paper and put them in a pretty covered jar.  Every morning for a year, I started out my day with a coffee and a blessing from this jar.  That was a gift that lasted the whole year and believe me there were times it was the only good thing about my day.

Positive journals are also a great gift.  If possible get one that relates to their career or hobby.

Lastly, give a gift that will never be discarded, such as money into a college fund, cards from UNICEF or donations in their name.

Widows struggle for peace of mind in the holiday season, but you can at least aim for “financial” peace of mind.  Set a budget per person or family, and stick to it.  You don’t need more stress in your life and think about how proud of yourself you will be in the New Year when your credit card isn’t high sky.

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