Stores are full, people are driving around like lunatics, it doesn’t seem like the happiest time of the year with long lines, big waits, and people running around frantically trying to get their holiday requirements finalized.
Guilt and panic probably aren’t on your wish list this year, and yet to some degree, we want to have a gift for people around us. More people die of heart attacks and traffic accidents around the holidays than any other time of year!
WE SPEND MONEY THAT WE DON’T HAVE ON GIFTS THAT PEOPLE REALLY DON’T NEED TRYING TO IMPRESS PEOPLE WE DON’T LIKE.
Why do we do this? We do this because we don’t have something more compelling to do.
Maybe this year make a conscious decision of letting go of all the requirements and just being yourself. Give yourself the gift of personal space, time to listen and reflect, and select your closest loved ones to share defining moments.
Try this: Don’t buy any gifts for adults, not even your significant other. Make it a rule with your family to only buy gifts for the kids. They like toys to play with but make your adult time together the main event of the holiday spirit: a great conversation, a game to play together, a walk up the road, stories to share, human contact. Make a meal together. Read a book together, talk about the best time you ever had, or what you learned most this year. Don’t leave home.
Try this: Invest $150 on small gifts, place them in a big bag and go to the most marginalized neighborhood nearby and give them to the kids. Go around to kids who didn’t receive anything until you came along and played Santa. You’ll light up when you see the smile on their face when your item helped them remember they’re not alone.
Try this: Don’t go to anyone’s house but yours. Make a simple Christmas. Stay in. Enjoy the quiet time and the sweet taste of just being together. Dance to your favorite music, light up the house just for you and take a bubble bath. All the social requirements be gone! This time is yours to celebrate the gift of life. Take a walk early morning and before bedtime, see the stars, or play in the snow.
Try this: Tell others what you are doing and that you appreciate time with them, but this year isn’t going to be one of them. If they’re offended or disappointed, that’s ok. You’re not governed by other’s expectations except your own values and choices. You are your own bouncer. You’d rather have a few complainers and a holiday all your own than a bunch of people crowding out your ability to remain present and listen. It doesn’t mean you don’t love them; you simply tell them how to please you.
Try this: Get away to somewhere nice and quiet after the holiday. The second week in January is your chance to take 7-10 days to get away from it all, and stay far from the crowds.