2008-11-14 / Editorials

Holidays on a budget

Like many Americans, the residents of Simi Valley are feeling lighter in the pocketbook and bereft of their savings.

But rather than hold our breaths until the government decides to bailout the "family industry," it's time, as the old saying goes, "For the tough to get going." Going thrifty, that is.

Despite what we've been hearing on our television sets, this country has been through recessions like this before—it's part of the ups and downs of a capitalistic system.

All of the fear-mongering in the media, heightened by this year's election cycle, seems driven by an extreme lack of perspective.

Except for the Great Depression, which lasted 10 years, most financial downturns usually last one to two years. Our government, try as it might, can't do much to reverse the trend. Even the beloved FDR didn't get us out of the Great Depression—only WWII did that.

Some businesses don't weather these downturns, but most do. The trick now is not to stop spending altogether, but to spend more wisely.

Unlike the banks, lenders, AIG and, now it seems, the auto industry, no government bailout will come to the aid of the retailers.

The good news is we're not in this alone.

Many families have already begun putting together plans to stretch their dollars; we hope you do the same.

We must all attempt to honor the new frugality. Did someone say frugal? Save and not spend, for a change?

Historical times indeed.

Perhaps it means barbecued hamburgers for Thanksgiving dinner instead of turkey with all the trimmings. Maybe that trip back East to visit Aunt Edna will have to be put on hold. One thing's for sure: Fewer families will be able shower their children with gifts this coming December—and we don't want to hear any whining.

Of course, every dark cloud has a silver lining. Because we'll be spending less time shopping in the next few months, perhaps we'll have more time to reflect on what truly matters in life: love, peace and family.

The value of these items? Priceless.

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