Focusing on family this holiday season won’t be any different from the norm around here; we usually spend the eight days of Hanukkah doing lots of family activities: board games (Risk, Life, etc.), movies, entertaining, and all that kind of stuff. We don’t focus on the gifts–and in fact, for the last many years, it’s been like pulling teeth for the grandparents to get my kids to make wish lists because they hate doing that–but still, we usually have a loose budget for the holidays.

Not this year.

Although we are totally fine (really), our belts are tightened this year when it comes to extras, and we join so many other Americans who are cutting back out of necessity as well as out of respect for the economic times. Frankly, even if we had the ability to run wild with a loose holiday budget, I would feel really weird spending the normal amount because there are so many people out there who have to put their needs on a wish list.

We’ve told the kids that Hanukkah is going to be sparse this year, and they both (separately) responded in such a way that made me very happy: “Well Mom, I really don’t need anything right now anyway; it’s no big deal.” It’s always nice to get little reminders that we have raised unspoiled children.

What changes, if any, are you making this year?