This is something that has been on my mind the past several years. Yes, Christmas is fast approaching. There’s a reason they call it the “silly season” for a reason. So many people get so stressed out, both time wise and financially. Why is there so much emphasis on buying gifts? People go out of their minds, spending WAY too much money based on their particular circumstance, on gifts for people who really don’t need the gifts. Please do not feel that I am judging in any way. I simply wanted to throw out an alternative idea for you. So here is the challenge.
Donate. If you have the means, why not donate to charities where the money can go to feed people or to give children a gift they wouldn’t receive otherwise. Why should children suffer because of the circumstances their parents find themselves in? There are so many fabulous organizations out there. You can prepare meals and hand them out to people living on the street. Help out at a soup kitchen. Visit seniors in nursing homes. Rather than purchasing the bags of food at grocery stores, why not donate money to organizations such as Feed the Need (no, I am not affiliated with them at all); your money will go so much further. Having said that, we purchase the bags periodically as well. It’s still better than nothing.
Here’s the big challenge for you. It involves no money, no shopping, no effort, except for your time. We are all so time crunched on a regular basis; throw in Christmas shopping and obligations and oh my life gets crazy between now and the New Year. Rather than running around shopping for gifts that aren’t necessary, why not spend TIME together during the holiday season. If you feel you must bring something, why not bring homemade cookies or jars of jam? You can batch cook in one day and have enough to take to numerous friends and family members. Throw an informal party or gathering so you can see a bunch of people at once. Why not host a Christmas movie night? Line up a bunch of classic movies or the animated films, regardless of whether you have kids or not. I love the Grinch Who Stole Christmas and Rudolph and the like.
Why not have a Facetime or Skype party. Make it a pajama party and everyone dress up in their favourite Christmas jammies or sweaters. You can all drink hot chocolate or eggnog together through the wonders of technology.
As you may have figured out by now, I love to push limits; I love to encourage people to expand their boundaries sometimes; to get them thinking outside the box. This challenge is simply to get you to perhaps think about the Holidays a little differently. What I’m trying to get at is, let’s take back the Holidays, reduce our stress and HAVE FUN!! This is a time to celebrate, not stress.
Are you up for the challenge? I’d love to hear what you’re doing to take back your time and to make the Holiday Season (regardless of what you celebrate) fun again!
Until next week …
Sandy O’Shea, CNP