“It came without ribbons, it came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags… Maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.” ~ The Grinch
The festive celebration of Christmastime has a lengthy list of plans, scheduled events, family activities which never excluded tree raising and home decorations, baking cookies, planning dinners, wrapping presents and shopping for just one more item! The holiday season can resemble a whirlwind, leaving behind a questioning sour taste of, “Did we enjoy it?” What happened to the swirling sensation of magic from long ago yesteryear? The anticipation of an impending miracle! More is not the answer to invite the spirit of Christmas into your life. The solution is to create simplicity around the tangible gifts that matter, such as returning to a less commercialized Christmas.
Reject the Impending Crisis
“There are seven days, six hours and four minutes left until Christmas!” In our minds, we hear the town crier, filling in the fear that we aren’t giving enough to the spirit of the holiday! Reject the words! This year, you can continue to enjoy your favorite traditions while creating a clear definition!
The Joy of Meaningful Traditions
Discover the truth by presenting an essential question, “What is your most anticipated Christmas tradition? Chances are the family will identify activities that bring everyone together. Perhaps, it’s a movie marathon with hot chocolate, an annual shopping trip with the aunts and cousins, or baking cookies with Grandma. Choose a secretary to record everyone’s thoughts. Keep the list down to a minimum, and toss out events or activities not mentioned.
Openly Discuss Stresses
Everyone has one aspect that extracts from the true meaning of Christmas. Discover the source of stress. Perhaps, it’s the responsibility of making an elaborate dinner for 12 people or expecting to plan every family event. Openly discuss how you can eliminate or ease the demands of activities, which may be time-consuming or costly. The goal is for each person to relish in the joys of the season!
Buying and Financial Accountability
Every December, Americans spend nine times the amount on retail shopping than any other month during the year. With stores promoting great sales with additional discounts, most shoppers feel they are saving without realizing the total cost. After viewing the January credit card statement, stress and regret arrive. This year, change the way you purchase gifts.
- Create a written or digital record itemizing the total cost per person. Establish a financial limit!
- Consider practical exchanges under the banner of homemade gifts, such as frozen soups, canned foods or other perishable goods.
- Have a game night, sing carols or watch holiday movies with a potluck dinner, and forego the gift exchange. It’s all about togetherness.
- Buy a group of cousins or your group of friends a package gift experience, such as a road trip or tickets to a museum. Time together is memorable, while the gift is often forgotten!
- Write a detailed form letter rather than continue the tradition of mailing gifts to distant relatives and friends.
- Open a Christmas club account in January. Next year, determine spending by total amount saved.
Don’t Add to the Clutter
If the Christmas gifts weren’t enough, shoppers run to obtain more on the 26th. Do you need more wrapping paper, decorations and stuff? It’s a powerful feeling to live with contentment in what you already have!
Cherish the Time
A simplified Christmas eliminates the busyness of rarely spending time at home. Make the most of your days by creating intentional memories. Children will enjoy creating specially themed cards or baking cookies for a neighbor. Brainstorm together to see how you can make someone else’s Christmas memorable, too!
Looking back to the season of Christmas, you’ll be grateful to have the best gift of the season, great memories with loved ones!