While some pundits compare our economic climate to those suffered at other times during our history,I disagree.

What we are going through has never happened in history. While some compare our crisis to that of the the Great Depression, this one is different on many levels, but no less traumatic!

If you have recently retired, or are thinking of retiring, it is a particularly stressful time. As 401K values plunge and home values spiral downward, it is hard to be optimistic about the future. Quite frankly, there is little to compare too, as the whole world has joined our bad times with no end in sight.

However, I was recently reminded that there is a big difference between retiring and being laid-off. Most people have planned for their retirement, and have some assets to rely upon during hard times.Being laid-off is a whole different experience and, unfortunately, is a predictor of just how long and painful our current recession could last, since the worst and most fearful symptom of recession is the loss of jobs and the devestating impact this can have on millions of lives.

In the last month, I have seen at least one person I know layed off each week. This is the most real evidence I have seen of what is happening. While, it may not be you or I, when our neighbors and friends are laid-off, it affects all of us psychologically. Some may have seen it coming, but some may have been caught totally off guard.

With the holidays coming and economic forecasts bleak, it is hard to keep our resolve and not to become discouraged. But perhaps, this is when we need to draw upon lessons from history, and the laws of nature. Historically, when times are rough, we still can draw from optimism and the hope that things will get better.And we can also thwart the theory of self-fulfilling prophecy, where we make things happen that we don’t want to occur.

It is a time to be hopeful, but if each of us reaches out to others that may be suffering just a little more than we are and offer them assistance and solace during the holidays this could be our best Christmas ever – a Christmas when look to help the fortunes of others even when our own prospects may not be as good as we had expected last year.Christmas can be a time of giving to others, so let’s embrace this idea not only in the presents we give but all our good deeds.

Alane CunninghamContemporary RetirementChristmas family fun,depression,hard times,money,recession,thanksgivingWhile some pundits compare our economic climate to those suffered at other times during our history,I disagree.What we are going through has never happened in history. While some compare our crisis to that of the the Great Depression, this one is different on many levels, but no less traumatic!If...Parenting Advice and Family Fun Activities