This year, there were a few less Christmas presents to go around for Lori Wilmore's family. Like many people, Wilmore says she spent less as a precaution as the country moves toward the looming fiscal cliff.
"I'm trying to cut back on the money and save up for whatever is going to be happening," said Wilmore.
Peter Fortin, Managing Partner of local consulting firm Fortin and Associates, says those who scaled back Christmas had the right idea.
"Whether you're making a million dollars a year, or you're making a modest income, I think you have to go back to the fundamentals of tightening your belt," said Fortin.
It's all to prepare for the fiscal cliff deadline that is now just days away. Early estimates indicate the average family's taxes could increase by as much as $2,000 a year and many think going over the fiscal cliff could push the country into another recession.
Fortin believes any deals made by the government, between now and New Year's Day to avoid the cliff, will only be temporary fixes.
"I do think you're going to see a recession at some level whether you have a resolution to this thing or not," said Fortin. "I don't think it's time for people to start jumping out of windows. We need to get back to our fundamental principles of working hard."
While Fortin says it's tough to say how bad things will get, some aren't waiting to find out.
Jenny Kinne, who protested outside Republican Congressman Mike Rogers' office for hours, Wednesday, says any deal made needs to give less cuts to the wealthy and more to the middle class.
"Congressmen do listen to us, it's just a matter of taking your time and using your energy in a wise and effective way," said Kinne.