Christmas doesn't have to be about buying presents for each of your family members,friends the people you work with or attend classes. What matters is having meaningful relationships and support from your peers when facing life's challenges.
Expressing gratitude and appreciation for ones friendship may be done in the form of a card. A few sentences from the heart go a long way in nurturing a friendship or relationship:
- Thank you for believing in me
- Thank you for standing by me when I needed support
- Thank you for making a difference in my life
- I'm praying for you
An ornament exchange between colleagues in the work place or an extended family is an alternative to expensive gifts. When bringing out the Christmas decorations in subsequent years the ornament received will have significant meaning and value to you.
An alternative to buying presents for each and every member in your family is purchasing an animal in honor or your family or specific family members. These are sold to support needy families in a 3rd world countries. The Canadian Hunger Foundation does this through their Gifts That Matter program.
When finances are tight often churches or community groups have a Christmas Hamper Program you may register for. This provides the essential food for when you get together during the Christmas holiday season with your close friends or family. Don't be offended if you are asked to provide proof of income. This is asked for with the intent of those who need support will indeed receive it and weeds out others who would attempt to abuse the service.
Using video conferencing through the Internet is an alternative to when finances don't allow for traveling. May online chat programs have a video conferencing component. For video conferencing to work a high speed Internet connection is necessary. Other options to reduce travel expenses at Christmas time include car pooling, using public transit and booking ahead to take advantage of promotions.