Financial Pressures of the Holidays

Last Modified: December 22, 2010

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Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"

How do I deal with financial pressures associated with the holidays - when I’m already broke from my cancer treatment?


Christina Bach, MSW, LCSW, Social Worker at the University of Pennsylvania, responds:

Get creative and put less emphasis on the amount spent on gifts as being a sign of how much you care for others. You have had enough on your plate, and coping with financial issues can be extraordinarily stressful.

  • Suggest your family do gifts "pollyanna" style — buying for one person each rather than everyone.
  • Make gifts: knit, sew, crochet, scrapbook, collage. Handmade gifts are often very inexpensive but more heartfelt.
  • Ask family members and friends to donate to a cancer service organization rather than to give gifts. This can help you and other families and patients coping with cancer.
  • Make a wish list of financial assistance you could use to help you get out from under some of the debt incurred by your treatment.

All in all remember this season is not about how much or how little you spend.

This question and answer was part of the OncoLink Brown Bag Chat Series. See the entire transcript: Surviving & Thriving During the Holidays Webchat.

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