Monday, December 8, 2008

Sorry, Kids...Santa Is Cutting Back This Christmas

Santa is brokeAccording to a CNN poll released this morning, more Americans plan to cut back on holiday spending than any other expense. 67 percent of Americans polled will spend less than they originally planned. This could mean more store closures and layoffs after the New Year, and that’s certainly not the kind of holiday cheer we were hoping for. Of course, it’s also bad news for the kids. Though it is heartbreaking to hear stories about how some children might get nothing this year, most American kids can just expect less of—or knockoff versions of—what they wanted, so I don’t so much pity them for a disappointing Christmas as much as the crippling debt they face in the future of this country.

As for this holiday season, there are a growing number of children who might get nothing at all. Over the years families who haven’t had enough money to buy toys for their children have been able to turn to charities like Toys for Tots for assistance, but this year things are different. Donations to these charities are down considerably, and it has happened at a time when the number of people in need is much higher than in the past. These children, who have always been able to count on Santa to deliver on Christmas, might be disappointed this year. To see the faces on these kids will be heartbreaking, to say the least.

My daughter was born in January of this year, so this will be her first Christmas. At this point she is a little too young to even realize what Christmas is, but if she were a little older, as a father I couldn’t even imagine how I’d feel if I had to tell her that Santa wasn’t coming this year. I think these charities are not only for the children, but also for the parents of those children as well.

I know that many Americans are preparing to cut back this holiday season, but in reality most of us still have so much. Whether you were planning to cut back this holiday or not, I think most of us can find a few extra bucks in our budget to help out these families in need. To find the nearest Toys for Tots drop off location, click here.

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