Almost everywhere you go lately it seems like Christmas is in your face already. Christmas music, Christmas lights, Christmas blow up lawn reindeer, etc, etc.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not anti-Christmas, I’m just anti-Christmas when it starts the day after Halloween & it’s all about buying stuff!
I remember my dad saying when we were growing up that our culture had ruined the real meaning of Christmas by making it such a big commercial spectacle. I didn’t get it at the time but I now fully understand what he means and agree with him. (have you noticed you are becoming your parents in many ways!) Marketers have done a magical job of convincing us we need to spend a ton of money and it’s one of the reasons people end up stressed out and more in debt after the holidays.
This over-commercialization and consumption around Christmas is just part of the larger problem we have over over-consuming, it’s a year round issue. Its kind of like the grand finale of consumption for the year. We just have so much stuff I think we don’t even realize it. One of my weekly duties is to take out all the trash and recycling and I can tell you based on how much we throw out that we are part of the problem I’m talking about, so don’t take this as lecture in any way. We’re in it like almost everyone else.
So what am I suggesting, that we don’t buy anything this Christmas or we don’t get in the holiday spirit? No, not at all.
I’m just suggesting that you take a minute, with your spouse and even with your kids, and talk about what Christmas (or the “holiday” season if you prefer) is all about for you and your family. Pause, reflect and be intentional about what you’ll do this Christmas. I think if you do this you’ll be much less likely to blink and find yourself in early January with less serenity and more debt than when Christmas started.
People get so stressed out around Christmas which is not the point! Who is to blame but ourselves though, we are the ones over-committing ourselves and over-spending which leads to the stress. Maybe the answer is to say no to some of those Christmas parties, to decide not to buy gifts for a huge list of people, and to not worry about looking perfect in front of visiting friends and family.
I’m not telling you what to think or what to celebrate this season, just suggesting we don’t let the world decide for us in default mode. Don’t drift! Decide what it’s going to look like for your family and have a plan.
If the idea of doing things a little different this year appeals to you check out the interesting blog post I found below, I think you’ll enjoy it and it will give you some great tips for making this Christmas what you want it to be for your family.