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February 2015

Jan. 1, 1970


Dear Fellow Former Players & Friends,

In the spirit of openness, honesty, and public humility I’m sharing my thoughts on what I’ve learned about holiday time.  I’m always so excited for this time of year: the holiday lights, the hustle, the bustle and the chance to make dreams come true.

The holiday season is the perfect time for us to reflect on the past year and all the good things in our lives.  However, it also can be a very stressful and emotional time.  The loss of loved ones and the end of close relationships, combined with the hectic pace of people and spending around us, often turns what should be a relaxing season into one of exhaustion and confusion.  This year, don’t overspend and overextend yourself in your commitment to others.

Family and friends are important, and celebrating the holiday season is memorable. However, coming out of the holiday season on budget and focused on strengthening family relationships and financial outlook must be the goal.

Don’t let the excitement sweep you up only to come crashing down in January to the reality that you overspent, overate and used way too much time trying to please ‘MOM and THEM’- on both sides of the family!

Then it’s cold, your money is low and you’re left with a juggling act trying to get the budget back on course. I’m certainly not a financial advisor. And trust me, I’ve been in that same ‘hole’ with you. But…

Don’t ignore the warning signs of irritability, a bad temper, frustration and withdrawal. Don’t borrow money to make dreams come true. Stay focused on your budget. Don’t deviate too far from your daily routine. There are only so many hours in the day.  Manage your family’s expectations. You can do this through effective communication. Be honest by telling them the sky is not the limit. Sit down with family especially children and get an understanding of what they are hoping for. You will be surprised how little they want. It is often our own egos that elevate their expectations.

So don’t get caught up in the whirlwind of being out and about. Quality time at home is festive. That is exactly what makes it a magical time of year.

The Professional Athletes Foundation is available as a resource to give you tips on surviving holiday stress, building more meaningful relationships with family and giving you the tools to effectively communicate to your loved ones that you don’t want to overspend or over commit your time. Start building a holiday game plan today.

Happy Holidays,


Andre Collins

Executive Director
Professional Athletes Foundation
NFL Player 1990-1999

Gene Upshaw Player Assistance Trust Fund

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