Parenting Sucks: All I Want For the Holidays Is My Retirement Account Intact

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jkimes70Dear Joanne,

This year we have less money to spend on gifts this year for our kids and we don’t want to disappoint them. What can we do?


Dear Hallie,

What started out as little trinkets from the Three Wise Men has evolved into budget breaking plasma screens, shiny laptops, and designer clothes, and this trend has got to STOP! And the same holds true for the eight days of Hanukah presents as well. Parents erroneously assume that having what amounts to Toys R Us showroom floor underneath their tree or Menorah is the only way to show their love to their kids. Or, that if they don’t get that one must-have toy that isn’t available anywhere in the continental U.S. except on eBay for quadruple the price, that their children will be traumatized. Or that denying their teen the latest-most tech savvy phone with endless games, unlimited text, and additional rhinestone cover will send them into a spiral of “I hate you!”s (sfx: door slam). The last thing kids need are an endless amount of “things” with the stressed out, fighting parents that go along with it who can’t afford to pay their bills come the new year.

Remember, the holidays aren’t about what you can buy at the mall. They’re about spending time with those you love, giving to the less fortunate, and eating way too many scrumptious goodies. So, instead of buying gifts you can’t afford, buy ones you can and focus your efforts on making this holiday memorable by actually making wonderful memories. Build a gingerbread house together and if it falls down, who cares because it’ll taste just as good. Volunteer at a local shelter to help others and show your kids they should be grateful for what they have and not upset for what they have not. Gather up some neighbors, go caroling and meet back at your place for hot chocolate. And don’t forget to play a rousing game of Dreidel as a family (it’s basically gambling for chocolate gelt!). I guarantee that in the years to come, your children will forget what presents they opened this month and will remember moments like these instead.

Happy Holidays!

Joanne Kimes is the author of the bestselling “Sucks” series as well as “The Stay-at-Home Martyr.” Visit her at Her latest tome, “Divorce Sucks,” with Mary Jo Eustace, the woman whose husband left her for Tori Spelling, has been making waves in the press and the book signing circuit.

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About Karen Young

Karen Young is the founder of My Daily Find.

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