Monday, December 12, 2011
Jobless over the holidays? Tell Us Your Story
Ah, the holidays! A time for reindeer, mistletoe and over-eating. But the season isn't all comfort and joy. Gifts for family and friends, entertaining, travel--the costs pile up quickly, for all of us. And if you're one of the more than 13 million Americans who are unemployed-- especially if you're among the roughly 5.7 million who have been out of work for six months or more--even an ordinary Christmas celebration could blow your budget. We would like readers who had been jobless for a while to tell us about their experiences. We receive a flood of affecting, thought-provoking responses, which turned up on our website, www.begslist.org. Now we want to hear about how being unemployed is affecting your holiday celebrations this year. Among the things we want to know: • How are you cutting back or economizing for your holiday? Are you spending less on gifts? Staying home instead of traveling? • If you have children, how are they reacting to the situation? Do they understand? • Do the holidays come as a welcome period of rest and relaxation, or do they feel like just one more cause of stress? • What are some free or low-cost ways to celebrate that you've found and want to share? • Are there any upsides? Have you found that you've focused less on consumerism, and more on family and friends? • What are your resolutions for 2012? Be sure to tell us some basic details about yourself: your age, where you're from, how long you've been out of work, where you were working previously. And include any other information that gives us a sense of your situation and how you're getting by. Post a comment to this blog to share your experiences.