This Holiday Season—Little Joy For Those Hard Hit
3) Ask about a seniors discount (eligibility could begin at 50!). "Banana Republic, incidentally," says Brenoff, "they offer senior citizens a ten percent discount, and I qualify!"
Brenoff says she's always been "a recreational shopper...but it's taken on a different feel for me now." Before she lost her job, her family took lavish vacations. "We took the children to go see the Pyramids...now, we're going to go up to Mammoth and go for some great hikes." She says Hanukkah will be a scaled-back affair this year. In fact, it was last year, too. "The kids got to pick out one thing that they wanted, and we opened little presents the other days."
For these two families, are their new bargain hunting habits permanent?
"I don't see any reason to go back to being frivolous with what we have," says Leah Westfall.
Brenoff's take? "If Macy's isn't having the one-day sale, they don't see me."
Finally, both families are focusing on gifts of time rather than money. "Our idea of entertaining now is to have people come over for dinner, the whole family," says Ann Brenoff, "and, generally, we make it a pot luck. Everybody understands." As for the Westfalls, "Even though we're cutting back on spending a little bit, we don't want to cut back on the time we're spending together," says Bill, who is also trying to save some money for a January mission trip to Kenya. "It's still really important in these tough times to give of ourselves."
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