Lisa Appleton, 42, of Sandy Springs, Ga., said she lost her job as an accounting manager during the holidays last year. Her new job at an ice skating rink pays less, and she said that forced her to skip her usual Thanksgiving road trip to visit family in northeast Ohio.
"This is the first year that I have not gone in like five years," she said. "It seems weird to me."
She planned to spend the holiday at home with her 23-year-old son, eating and watching football. After checking airline prices, she decided they'll also stay in Georgia for Christmas.
"It breaks my heart, but it's something you've got to do," she said. "If you don't have the money, you just — you can't do it."
Associated Press writers Maryclaire Dale in Philadelphia, P. Solomon Banda in Denver, Kantele Franko in Columbus, Ohio; and Matthew Barakat in Chantilly, Va., contributed to this report.
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