LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Doing Christmas on the cheap isn't a bad thing. This year especially, it can be a necessity.
KIDS IN QUARANTINE
"2020 was rough for everybody," said Las Vegas mom Danielle Willard.
She and her husband Benjamin have been fortunate enough to keep their jobs, but their family is still feeling the effects of the pandemic.
Their kids are currently quarantined after being exposed to COVID-19, and the family knows they're not alone.
"Thousands of families go through this in Clark County every day," said Danielle.
BIGGER THAN ALL OF US
Then there are millions of others around the world. Something their whole family is well aware of thanks to the internet and social media.
"The kids are now realizing this is global. It's huge. It's bigger than all of us," said Benjamin.
MONEY WAS FLYING
So the Willards are doing things a little different this Christmas.
"Looking back at everything we bought for the kids in previous years, it was almost like money was flying and they didn't understand the value behind it and where it came from," said Danielle.
STOP & THINK
So mom and dad came up with a reasonable budget and gave the kids very specific categories for Christmas gifts: things you need, things you want, books and clothes.
"We had to help them through the choice. What do you do most with your time? What are your hobbies?" said Benjamin.
"It makes them stop and think, what's really important to them," said Danielle.
They also added a spot for giving something to someone less fortunate.
"They were extremely excited to be able to help, especially when we explained not everybody's in the position we are," said Danielle.
The Willards say this year's wish list is saving them a lot of money while helping them to reflect on what's important and counting their blessings.
NOT BUYING AS MANY GIFTS
"There are families that won't have a Christmas at all," said Danielle.
Some people may feel an extra emotional burden from not being able to buy as many gifts for loved ones this year, but Psychotherapist Caitlin Carmody says there are other options.
"There are so many different ways we can show people love and affection. It doesn't have to cost money," said Carmody.
CREATING COMBATS ANXIETY
Instead of buying presents, Carmody suggests making them with your family.
"The act of even creating helps combat that anxiety and depression," said Carmody.
Quality time is also a gift that's just as meaningful, even if it's done virtually.
"So if we can reframe it as not something that we're losing, but maybe as a time of growth, or an opportunity to make new traditions and new memories," said Carmody.
This story was written by Tricia Kean by KTNV.