As we enter the month of hustle and bustle, and dashing here and there, it is a good time to pause.
Let us reflect on what we want our holiday, our home, our life to look like.
For years I thrust myself into holiday chaos, filling life with stuff. Somehow, it represented happiness, love and abundance to me. The truth is it was causing me stress. The time and energy spent shopping, wrapping and of course paying for it when the credit card bills start rolling in. I was allowing the societal paradigm of bigger is better and a life filled to the brim with stuff is what happiness looked like. This treadmill only offered a never-ending void that can not be filled……EVER. I’ve learned to be happy with less; welcoming simplicity and getting back to what truly matters; time, health and experiences with one another.
I began the ongoing journey of simplifying and minimizing my life a few years ago. ‘Tis the season for another opportunity to practice self discipline once again and reflect on how we can simplify and tune in.
A practice I have is to ask three questions:
How do I consume?
Why do I consume?
What do I consume?
Can we slow down the rate at which we are shopping? So many of us have so much STUFF and every Christmas, we buy more and more stuff. I would buy so much for my kids, (who also have too much STUFF) Christmas became overloaded with more decorations, Christmas themed mugs, soap dispensers, dishes, boxes, bags, you name it. I even decided I would start collecting wreaths! Do you know awkward it is to store wreaths the other 11 months of the year? What is all this excess shopping about? If the purpose is to show those closest to us that we care and are invested in their joy, is giving THINGS the way to do this?
What do most of us really want?
Time to spend with people we love. It is truly the best gift because it fosters connection. I don’t remember many of the presents I got as a child. Ok, that’s a lie, I was part of the Cabbage Patch craze and I do remember that, however what I remember is maybe one special gift each year and the rest was all just excess. What do I fondly recall? The magic of waking up together, and spending time with our family and friends, making snow forts, an outdoor rink and coming in to eat those special Christmas treats that were so a part of the holidays…. the cabbage patch doll is long gone.
I am not suggesting we don’t buy for one another, but let’s do it in a mindful manner and not over purchase and stress ourselves out. Look at the volume of what we are gifting and if it is out of balance with how we want to connect and show love.
So, this holiday season, if you are someone who tends to over gift, consider less is more & keep it simple. Give gifts of your time, or something to share, an event, or an outing instead of merchandise.
“Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!”
― Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!