The holiday season can be a joyous time of year, but it can also add additional financial stress on many families. One dad is especially struggling to get into the Christmas spirit. He took to the Reddit community to ask, “Am I the a**hole if I cancel Christmas because I can’t afford it this year?”
He goes on to explain that he is the sole provider for his family, has maxed out his credit cards, and has a negative bank account balance.
Is it OK for this dad to cancel Christmas for his kids because of money struggles?
“Title says it all, sole provider for family, all credit cards maxed, negative bank balance, upcoming missed payments until my next check, basically destitute for the foreseeable future,” the dad wrote.
The writer shares that he is filled with shame and already feels as though he is failing his wife and their 2-year-old daughter.
“My wife and I usually decorate on Black Friday, but this year I don’t want to. The thought of putting up our fake tree knowing I’ll have nothing to put under it fills me with such a mix of shame, anger, and pain. I would prefer to just let December pass and cut out as many things as I can until I can get my finances under control.”
After receiving an excess of feedback, the in-debt dad posted an update to his original question.
“THIS HAS SPUN OUT OF CONTROL! I never thought my sad man pity party would get this kind of response. I was expecting to be called an a**hole, validate my self-loathing, and claw my way out of debt by working harder. I did not expect the absolute torrent of love and support that I in no way deserve or can accept.”
Much to his family’s delight, the man decided to decorate his home and focus on the less expensive aspects of the holiday.
“I still dread the thought of lugging that old fake tree out of the laundry room, but my feelings have to come 3rd, here and always. My wife and daughter need the love and joy that that old tree will bring, and I need to give them everything I can, even if it’s the just the spirit of the season.”
We’re glad this dad found the support and advice he needed from the community. For his sake, and for his family’s.
Katie Nave is a freelance writer, producer, and mama living in Brooklyn, New York. Driven by her passion for storytelling, she is always seeking opportunities to elevate people who are working to better the world around them.