If you dread all the greed and consumerism of the holiday season, here are a few tips to help you step back and simplify. Not only will your wallet thank you, but you may actually enjoy the season more!
How do you feel about the commercialization of the holiday season? If you are like most people, you probably complain about the extravagant consumerism while at the same time immersing yourself in it. You may not like what it has become, but it seems unavoidable.
The exchanging of gifts is an important and time-honored tradition. Giving gifts can be a legitimate expression of the love and care you feel toward someone. So should you give holiday gifts to the people you love? Yes, by all means.
The danger is in going overboard. Every December, many people spend far beyond what they can afford. As a result, when the season comes around, they find themselves still paying for the gifts purchased on credit the previous year.
To avoid becoming overwhelmed and over-budget, you can practice these three rules.
1.First, determine your Holiday budget and stick to it. Ideally, your spending will not require you to go into debt. Debt will rob you of the enjoyment of the season. It may even lead to feelings of resentment toward the recipients of your gifts.
2.Second, do not compete with others. If someone purchases an expensive gift for you, do not feel obligated to spend an equal or greater amount of money on him or her. Instead, perhaps you can give a creative gift that is memorable yet inexpensive. If you are still concerned about comparing costs, then discuss your concern with your friend or family member in advance. Explain that you are trying to follow a budget. Perhaps together you can set a limit on how much each of you will spend.
3.Third, focus more on enriching your relationships than on spending your money. What are some activities you can do with your friend that will enhance your friendship? What are some experiences you can share with your family? How can you spend time together and create shared memories? There may or may not be a financial cost involved, but the focus should be on relationship-building.
By following these rules, you can escape from consumerism while instilling meaning into your holiday season. Instead of it being about the giving and receiving of “stuff,” it can be about building your relationships and discovering true joy.