ARNPRIOR -- The holiday season it always an expensive time of year. But this year, one in four Canadians say they don’t have the money for it.

A survey by Credit Canada says 24 per cent of Canadians say they will have to forego holiday celebrations in 2020, with the pandemic hitting many families' wallets hard.

“In some cases they may have income that is getting them through, but they don’t have a lot of additional income,” says Keith Emery, Co-CEO at Credit Canada Debt Solutions. “So any additional expenses like Christmas just aren’t on the table.”

Emery is expecting holiday spending to be significantly reduced this year.

“With their situation, with the loss of income that a lot of people are experiencing and the uncertainty with what’s going to happen in 2021, a lot of people don’t feel confident with a lot of spending during the holiday season.”

Credit counsellor Mark Kalinoski, at the Credit Counselling Society, says to create a budget and spending limit. He also suggests talking with your friends and family about your financial struggles, as they may be experiencing the same thing.

“Come up with an arrangement,” Kalinoski said. “Do a pot luck this year instead of going out for dinner. Cut back on the gift-giving and enjoy time together instead.”

Instead of spending money this year, Kalinoski says spending time may be more valuable.

“When I talk to my children about the things they most remember about the holidays, very rarely does it come down to the Playstations or iPhones they’ve gotten. It really does come down to the time we spend with each other, the games we play, the movies we watch.

"I think spending time together is a great investment in each other.”

Turning a page on 2020 heading into the new year, the last thing anyone needs is a hefty credit card bill heading into the new year, he added.

“It’s not a happy Christmas when we know January is going to have a big credit card bill,” says Kalinoski.