Survive the Holidays Without Going Broke or Insane.

Tips on Avoiding Family and Financial Stress
How do you say no to your kids?

ROCKVILLE, MD – „Balancing family, financial and other demands during the holidays can snowball into big stress,” says Mike Kidwell, vice president and co-founder of, a nonprofit financial services organization. To help people avoid problems, is offering a free publication called Survive the Holidays Without Going Broke or Insane.

„The common trap people fall into is over giving,” says Kidwell, who is also vice president of A recent survey found that holiday shoppers will spend $1,220 this year, up 45 percent from last year’s $841.

„There are four major categories that explain overspending: guilt, competitiveness, living out childhood fantasies through our children and compensating for a previous emotional injury. There are ways to overcome even the most complicated habits.”

Kidwell suggests the following:

– Think of the holidays as a season, rather than a build up to a single event that ends with lots of presents.

– Have your family sit down and agree on the kind of holiday experience everyone wants.

– Ask children to make lists of their wishes based on priority. For older children, ask them to create a wish list based on budgetary limitations.

    „Do you remember what holiday gifts you received last year,” Kidwell asks.

„If you’re like most people you don’t, but you do remember where you were and who you were with. Keep that in mind as you make plans and shopping lists for this holiday season.”


# # # is a national, nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people get out of debt. Founded in 1994, has helped more than four million people through its programs and educational resources. The organization is committed to helping people resolve past financial mistakes, manage current financial responsibilities and find financial peace of mind.’s programs and services include debt management, crisis resolution, online bill management, creditor problem resolution, coaching and Financial Recovery Counseling. Prior to April 2000, was known as Debt Counselors of America.

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