A Sioux City-based group dedicated to fighting the consumerism of Christmas is urging Iowans to change their habits for the upcoming season. Jerry Iverson, national coordinator for Alternatives for Simple Living, suggests having a family meeting -now- to plan the holiday get-togethers. He says you should make a budget at the meeting and include money to give to the needy.The meetings are best in person, but Iverson says they can be conducted almost as easily on the phone or through e-mail. In addition to making a budget for gift giving and for donations to the needy, Iverson says people should also discuss who will do the work to prepare for the holidays, especially the elaborate meals.Three-quarters of the work is done by the mother or the oldest female in the household who may no longer want to do the work, but she feels duty-bound to do it. Iverson challenges Iowans to celebrate the holidays responsibly. He says parents do not need to feel obligated to “buy, buy, buy” for their kids. He says this should not be the season of debt, but too many people are humbugged by habit, family pressures and guilt.The group tips for having a more meaningful holiday season are available by calling (800) 821-6153 or on the Internet at “www.simpleliving.org”.
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