Christmas Spirit

Holiday Advice: Don’t Place These Three Things Under Your Tree!

Holiday countdown in 3—2—1…let the shopping begin! 🛍

Does it feel like the race is on, now that Christmas commercialism is in full swing? Despite our best efforts, it’s easy to succumb to the notion that we need to spend freely and often.

“Lowest prices all year!” 🛒  Don’t miss out on all the deals!” 🛒  “Hurry before they’re gone!” 🛒 

If we truly loved our family, we would show it with a multitude of smartly wrapped gifts. Our homes would be fully decked out with holiday decor. The table would be groaning with handcrafted dishes and treats. Really? 🤫

Before we get swept too deeply into the retail hype of the season, let’s pause for a commercial break.  (hehe, see what I did there?! 🤓)

Today’s #CoffeeBreakStory focuses on avoiding 3 over-the-top behaviors for a holiday that is meaningful and relaxing.

So grab your peppermint scented cocoa ☕️ and read on!

holiday
freestocks.org | pexels

1. Over-spending

Everyone has different perspectives on what to buy and how much to drop 💵 for the holidays. 

Who wants to be a Scrooge? 

We start feeling the twinge of guilt if we don’t buy something for parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews, friends, neighbors, and so on.  

Then while shopping, we are seduced by the sale prices and the desire for something new. Why shouldn’t we treat ourselves, as well?

Without a doubt, retail marketers are stellar with redirecting our focus to spend on ourselves as well as each and every person who touches our life in some way.

Yet what if we stop and think about expressing our love, affection, or friendship in a different way? 🤔

Certainly, thoughtful packages under the tree are always appreciated. But if we are frantically shopping with no particular item in mind because someone already “has everything” or is “hard to shop for“, is a physical present the ideal token of our love?

Or will it end up being something never used or stashed and forgotten in a drawer or closet?

Think about the impersonal “teaser” items on racks jamming store aisles or suggested items on curated lists of “what to buy“. They are often the first things to declutter when it’s time to keep only what matters.

Consider giving what doesn’t have a physical price tag attached.

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gift of friendship
kari fumek | pexels

The gift of our appreciation and fellowship is priceless! ✨

How about a special holiday card with a hand-written message about how much we value that person in our life?

What if we express our love with a gathering at our home: a potluck where everyone participates in creating the meal?Alternatively, a catered meal with less work for all?

How about activities: an outing to a movie, a show, a bowling alley, or even a weekend summer getaway? You choose what fits your budget.

Our presence together 💝 will be remembered long after the presents are discarded.

holiday
elina fairytale | pexels

2. Over-decorating

I have many fond childhood memories of preparing for the holidays. 

I remember Dad bundling up as he braved the Midwest cold and snow to hang outdoor lights. Next, he would haul in the live tree for the rounds of ornaments and silver tinsel. The family cat would even scale the tree at some point!😹

Mom would unpack and arrange the Nativity créche in the living room. Familiar Christmas knickknacks were also displayed. Then finally, brightly wrapped packages would gradually appear under the tree.🎄

Holiday baking also played  a large role  as we anticipated Christmas Eve and Santa Claus!

These holiday rituals will never fade from my mind.

Yet is there a point when the decorating becomes too much?

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family first
nicole michalou | pexels

Does your Inner Over-Achiever detract from the fun and the fellowship? 

If you find yourself stressing over how long your to-do list is, consider scaling it back!✂️

It’s also easy to get carried away with adorning every room. Your guests may appreciate a coordinated theme; you enjoy the compliments. But at the end of the day, it’s the laughter and the conversation that truly take center stage.

Don’t lose sight of what your own priorities are, in the scheme of things. 

Simple yet elegant touches can still relay the holiday spirit without demanding excessive time and effort on your part.

overdoing
kostya levit naddubov | pexels

3. Over-doing

Who doesn’t want things to be just right? 

From the gifts and the decorations to your holiday outfit and the tablescape, there are so many moving parts to orchestrate. 

IG Influencers, Pinterest Pros and TikTok-ers share remarkably clever decorating ideas but who can possibly execute all of them? 😝  Social media sets the bar high—too high! 

Once again, the focus gets distorted when we invest our energy on the outward appearances at the expense of relaxing time with those who matter to us.

Why not choose just one or two areas that you enjoy embellishing?

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simplify
ma boîte a photos | pexels

Pause and choose the activities that most resonate with you.

Are you the “Yes, Chef” type?  Then relish the Christmas baking.👩‍🍳  Are you more of the “crafty” type? Go forth with paper, fabric, and stamping supplies for uniquely adorned decor and gifts. 🎁   

In fact, recruit your family or guests to join in with the meal prep or even some of the tree decorating. 

There’s no reason you need to master it all! 

 It might surprise you to learn that people care less about the full menu or extensive decorating than you do. So this is definitely a time to reconsider where to focus your energy if other activities are preferred (by you) or appreciated more by others.

There’s no pressure to do everything—other than what is self-imposed. 🤯

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The Wrap On Holiday Prep

The holidays are a peak time for folks to be stressed, depressed or some combination of the two. 

Relax! Cut yourself some slack. We feel the tug to get a gazillion things done even though our time is already filled with everyday obligations.

Give yourself permission to release the unrealistic expectations that often descend at this time of year.

Why let social media or the retail marketers dictate what is meaningful for you? The pressure is relentless. Which is why disconnecting from the hype is critical so you can hone in on what you choose to do.

Fellowship, laughter and love: those are the best gifts to place under the tree!  They never go out of style and they stay in our heart forever! ❤️

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Circle back to this post for more simplifying concepts:  But First: Plan Now For A Peaceful Holiday Season!

Head here and close your eyes: listen to a soothing 6-minute peaceful instrumental music roundup! The Christmas Pines

…and thanks for stopping by! 🤗

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