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How record inflation is shifting Vermonters' holiday traditions — or canceling them all together

A graphic of a jagged red arrow moving upward and knocking over a decorated Christmas tree
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A few of you shared with Vermont Public how record-high inflation is shifting your holiday traditions this year.

This year, inflation hit record highs. From eggs and beef, to gas and heating oil, many people are feeling the pinch of high prices this holiday season. Vermont Public heard from some of you about changes you're making because of those costs.

We’ll start with Doreen Caputo, from Brattleboro:

"I didn’t celebrate Thanksgiving and I won’t do anything for Christmas. I’m sure if I really tried I could, but it’s definitely a lot harder. I also noticed, even though I saved up Christmas money, a couple hundred dollars, because of all the other things I needed, I’m just not able to do too much… I’m a single, disabled woman who is almost four years in recovery. So I don’t have a lot of friends and family, but I was reunited with my son, and I’m definitely not able to do for him what I would like to, nor for anybody else that I feel deserves something nice for Christmas.”

Next is Matthew Lefluer:

“Hello, my name is Matthew Lefluer. For me, the holiday season is travel accessibility and the cost of rising gas and other needs with accessibility. Needs are on the rise. People with empathy can empathize. People with disabilities around Vermont suffer these needs during the holiday Christmas.”

More from Vermont Public: Holiday travel creates extra considerations for Vermonters with disabilities

And last is Ellie Mesler from Milton:

"So, how inflation is affecting my cherished traditions is that I’ve sat back and said, 'What’s so cherished about them, and what can’t be changed? And how can I work to not fight inflation, but what does that mean? And what can I do to help my neighbors and be more connected to my community in that way?' So I’m not going to the grocery store, I’m checking out my farmers — what do they have in their meat case; what kind of vegetables traditionally; and do I really need blueberries, or should I be eating squash? So those types of things are now going to be what I’m going to call my cherished traditions. What can I cherish, just what’s around me, and not look much further than that? And also, just to be appreciative of what I have again. I’m not going to fight inflation, I’m just going to try to work with it.”

Have questions, comments or tips? Send us a message.

Karen is Vermont Public's Director of Radio Programming, serving Vermonters by overseeing the sound of Vermont Public's radio broadcast service. Karen has a long history with public radio, beginning in the early 2000's with the launch of the weekly classical music program, Sunday Bach. Karen's undergraduate degree is in Broadcast Journalism, and she has worked for public radio in Vermont and St. Louis, MO, in areas of production, programming, traffic, operations and news. She has produced many projects for broadcast over the years, including the Vermont Public Choral Hour, with host Linda Radtke, and interviews with local newsmakers with Morning Edition host Mitch Wertlieb. In 2021 Karen worked with co-producer Betty Smith on a national collaboration with StoryCorps One Small Step, connecting Vermonters one conversation at a time.
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