“If you are not content today, there is nothing you can buy this weekend to change that.” - Joshua Becker
Are you feeling bombarded by advertising and unrealistic expectations that are driving you to spend this December? Did the lure of black Friday deals get you shopping for things you probably did not need only one day after you expressed gratitude for all that you have? You are not alone. If you have already decided the minimalist in me is going to tell you not to buy Christmas presents, you would be incorrect. Far be it from me to tell you how you should express love or give gifts to those around you, or how much is enough when it comes to decadent goodies or holiday décor. Instead the part of me that is pursuing mindfulness is going to share with you my plans for shopping in this holiday season.
Gifts: Of course I will be purchasing gifts for many of the people in my life, but it is probably fewer than ever before. My husband and I usually agree to not purchase gifts for each other, but do slip in a few small things anyway. Most of my friends and I have agreed that spending time together is much more important to us than exchanging a trinket with each other. My priority in spending for the holidays is instead on the children in my life and extended family. My goal is to either give them expendable gifts, experiences, or if appropriate something they have specifically requested. I am trying to focus on the experience of the holidays and time spent together vs. time spent running from store to store.
Holiday apparel: When did we start needing special or new clothes for Christmas and New Year events? Isn’t the go—to LBD the perfect fit for any occasion? I will admit I have one party that does incorporate a costume theme for Christmas, but I am limiting my purchase to $5 or less for a hat to complete my “snowman” look.
Décor: This is an area where I do get sucked in every year! I do love all the cute ornaments that are in the retail stores. However, I am determined this year not to add another decorative item to our tree (with one gift exception that I will post a photo of after Christmas). Since my husband likes to decorate the exterior of the house, we did replace one item that had just seen enough years on the lawn. That is it! No knick-knacks of Santa, no new stockings and no Christmas plates – nothing. Our home will still be overflowing with holiday cheer I assure you.
Food: While this does involve spending, for me it is also about keeping my health in the forefront of my mind. If you caught my November Musings, you will know I got off track in the food department in November. So my decision for December is to stay on track completely with my Low Carb, High Fat diet – no cheat days for cookies, cakes, eggnog….you get the drift. Okay, okay, I will have one cookie on Christmas day at my mother’s home – how can you go without your mother’s Christmas cookies –, but only one! Coming back to spending, I will not be purchasing those tempting holiday goodies so I will be saving some money too.
Entertainment: While I do not have grandiose plans in mind, this is one area where I believe spending money is worthwhile. Time spent with the people I love, building memories is the best investment when it comes to holiday spending.
So, what are your plans for this holiday? There is of course no one size fits all approach and I would love to hear yours.