With the holidays fast approaching, it’s easy to feel the pressure to buy bigger, better presents than you did the year before.
We’re surrounded by thousands of ads, telling us to “shop ‘til we drop!” We compare ourselves to other parents, other spouses, other friends who are buying the latest this or that for their children/significant other/peers. It’s SO hard to keep up!
What if I told you you didn’t have to?
Shifting your focus onto other things—real things—can help relieve the holiday stress and help you and your family realize how lucky you all are, just by being in each other’s presence. I’ve counseled so many clients who have fallen into the trap of “buy, buy, buy!” without even thinking the purchase through. Not only could this excessive spending chip away at your financial security, it also makes you lose sight of your purpose—your role in the bigger picture. Since financial security and purpose are two of the three basic pillars in achieving Self-Wealth, putting them in jeopardy makes for a pretty shaky foundation!
Instead, do something different for the holidays this year. Here are a few ideas:
Give experiences, rather than objects.
Give your family the gift of a special outing or vacation. It doesn’t have to be elaborate (maybe you go to a national park or a musical performance). It should simply be a chance for you all to experience something new and exciting together.
Focus on the gathering.
Have fun with your family decorating cookies, planning a menu together, and preparing a meal side-by-side. Getting everyone involved is a fun and simple way to build bonds and bring meaning back to your holiday meal. Besides, food always tastes better when it’s made with TLC, right?
Cut down on spending for each other and give a portion to charity.
Suggest to your family members that you cut $10 or $20 from each person’s “present budget” and pool that money into a gift for charity. This idea is even more meaningful if you also volunteer some hours at the same charity—a double whammy of giving back during a time when it’s easy to lose sight of what’s important.
I hope you and your family will give each other the gift of a meaningful holiday this year. No matter how you celebrate, remember that this is a time for love and togetherness, not materialism and greed. Keep the important things in sight and savor the holidays like a long sip of hot cocoa. Happy holidays!
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