Holidays are stressful. The United States just had Thanksgiving, which gave way to Black Friday. The mad rush of shopping just to “save” money on great deals. I’ll let you in on a little secret. Your family would much rather spend time with you than get some impersonal gift that you got on sale. I would even wager that a hand-made card that promised an invite for dinner that month would make some of the hardiest of people happy.
Interpersonal relations with friends and family are strained over the holidays, primarily by the fear of giving (and receiving) unwanted and unneeded gifts. Follow this principle, and save yourself the pain and suffering of bad gifts:
Now, don’t take this to mean I think you’re stupid. You aren’t. But by following the KISS principle, you have to take the time to think, about things that actually matter to the person you’re giving a gift to. How much money you spend has nothing to do with the actual quality of the gift. The thoughtfulness, however, can make or break a gift.
Personally, my family will mostly be receiving small gifts. If you’re in my family and reading this, just accept it. But know this: each gift is personal and has thought put into it. It may be small, but it’s something that I truly believe you will appreciate. If you appreciate the gift, I will be happy that I succeeded at fulfilling my portion of the holiday spirit. In return, all I want from my family and friends in terms of the holidays is the knowledge that they enjoy my company and think of me occasionally when I’m not around.
If you think that you can’t stop spending money, think about this:
Do you want your gifts to be in the garbage within six months? 90% of gifts purchased (more or less) are trashed within the first year, if not more. Wouldn’t you be happier knowing that the gifts you provide for someone important in your life has a more lasting impression on them and their households?
Take five or ten minutes and jot down the important names. People you really want to connect with this holiday season. Then make a quick one or two sentence blurb about something that the two of you would enjoy doing together.
Now, make it happen! Connections can be built and grown through simple conversation. Don’t be afraid of expressing yourself, but when and if you decide to bring up the fact that you’re trying to simplify your holidays, try to avoid making yourself seem that you’re cutting them off your list because you’re cheap. Instead, emphasize that you value your relationship with them more than any money you could spend and you want to really give them something with personal value. If they aren’t respectful of your opinion, reassess your relationship with them. If all they want from you is for you to spend your money on them, which may not be a valuable relationship to maintain.
Put some thought into your holiday, and make it one to remember.
Peace and serenity,
Enjoy my Adopting Simplicity series? Here is a list of the other posts from the series:
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