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Christmas On A Budget

By Cara Hunt

Senior Features Reporter

cbrennen@tribunemedia.net

Christmas is a time when most parents want to give their children the world, but this year COVID-19 has certainly caused many Bahamian moms to rethink how they budget for the holidays.

Hairstylist Chantal told Tribune Woman: “I have never been more grateful for my lil Christmas club, me and my two sisters do each year, we all put up $100 each month in a savings account from January, usually it pays for us to go to Miami for Black Friday to shop for all our kids.

"Well this year we were all affected in some way with our income, but we were able to push each other and still make the payments. We weren’t able to go Miami, but if I didn’t have this lil savings, there was no way I would have been able to give my kids a nice Christmas.”

Leandra said this year will certainly be difficult. The hotel worker has seen a major drop in income and says that her kids will just not get the amount of presents they have had in the past.

“I think it's important to sit down with your kids and let them know what is going on. I sat my kids down and told them you know mommy was not working and this Christmas we won't get all things that you want, but I will do my best to get you all something under the tree.

“And you know what, they made me cry, because all 3 of them said it’s ok, Mommy we understand. I think sometimes as parents we stress ourselves out trying to do it all, when it’s ok to just do what you can.”

Valerie says that she had a similar talk with her kids. As a secretary, her income has not been affected, but she says COVID has definitely made her rethink her spending.

“I really wanted to stress to my kids this year in particular how blessed they are. I used to go overboard for Christmas, but I realise how quickly life can change. When we were buying gifts last year who would have guessed, that a year later this is where we be with COVID. And this year, I just felt led by the spirit to help someone who has been affected. So my husband and I sat down my kids and told them that Santa needs extra help this year because of COVID, and so we are going to sponsor a family from our church with some presents and some money for Christmas dinner, because it could easily have been us with no money for Christmas, if we had lost our jobs.”

Terry said she and her family have decided to take the pressure off of gift buying.

“I have a big family with lots of nieces and nephews and usually we try to get a gift for at least all the children and pick names for the adults, but this year we decided that we will each pack a sibling’s family and get a present for each family, ie a board game, or a meal coupon and we gave a limit just because we don’t want anyone to feel bad cause they don’t have it or guilty because they do.”

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