Managing finances during the holidays Published Dec. 23, 2020 By Dr. Julie Reese 944th Fighter Wing Dept of Psychological Health LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. -- With holidays upon us and the spirit of giving, it is important to remember balance. Gift giving as a tradition began in the 18th Century and was based on the gratefulness of a productive harvest, selflessness and gifts of humanity, and giving to those who were less fortunate. Today, we celebrate those we care about with tokens of kindness, and more often, thoughtful gifts that are homemade are the most precious. Baking cookies, breads, and pies are warm, thoughtful gifts that are cherished. Cards and pictures made from little hands are precious gifts that can never be replaced. Remember, gift giving is truly about the thought and love that goes into it, and not the enormity of the gift. (www.thefactsite.com/the-tradition-of-giving-gifts-at/) Expanding holiday traditions include, Make your list and check it twice Start early Consider alternatives to buying Avoid debt (https://www.forbes.com/sites/lizfrazierpeck/2019/11/14/financial-stress-of-the-holidays-cause-many-to-rethink-traditions/) These unique times can be especially difficult for families that are struggling to make ends meet, as some have lost their jobs/daycares/school supports. Please reach out to your First Sergeants, Chiefs, supervisors, DPH, etc. and let them know if you and your family could use some extra support this time of year. Connect with your Chaplains, Airmen & Family Readiness office, churches, and community supports as they are also wonderful resource. Do not go it alone! We can help.