Q: This has really been a tough year for us — lost jobs, house in foreclosure, you name it. How can we explain to our children why they aren't going to get anything for Christmas? They're too young to understand all the problems we've had. — Mrs. B.H.
A: I'm sorry for the struggles you and millions of others have been having because of the present economic crisis. We need to pray more for our leaders as they seek to find answers to these problems.
How can you explain this to your children? The best approach is to be honest with them — not going into great detail, but simply doing what you can to help them understand why this Christmas isn't going to be lavish. It's not easy, I know; they see so much on television, and they hear so much from their friends about all the expensive gifts they hope to get. As a footnote, see if one of your local social service agencies (such as the Salvation Army) has a program to make gifts available to children in need.