As we approach Christmas, I encourage you to be intentional about your spending. Black Friday. Cyber Monday. The emphasis is spend, spend, spend. That’s not the true meaning of Christmas. Think of all the excess. The paper. The packages. It all goes in the trash. What can you do this year to cut back the excess.
Growing up, my family was poor. There were five kids. We rarely got more than a couple presents each. It didn’t kill us. It made us stronger.
Since having my own kid, I’ve discovered something. Many Americans are excessive about gift giving. I’m guilty. I wanted Annie to have things I didn’t have as a kid, but what does that teach her? That Christmas is all about getting stuff? That’s the wrong message. I’ve intentionally cut back on gift giving the last few years.
Giving Christmas gifts is a wonderful thing. Giving too many gifts is not. When you give too many gifts, you send the wrong message to your kids. You contribute to pollution. You overspend. Too many decorations and big meals add to the excessiveness that comes with the season. Reduce clutter and eat healthy this year. Here are some things you can do:
Cut Back On The Excess This Christmas Season
- Buy less: Christmas has nothing to do with buying stuff. Still, that’s what the media has convinced us to do. This creates several problems. You overspend, putting yourself deeper in debt. You send the wrong message to your kids. You send the wrong message to the world. You negate the true meaning of Christmas. Cut back on your buying this year.
- Consider needs: It’s nice to receive something you really want for a Christmas gift. It’s better to get something that you really need. When you do your holiday shopping, consider needs. When you buy needed items for family members, they’ll be more appreciative in the long run.
- Decorate less: I’ve never been a fan of huge amounts of decorations for Christmas. We have a tree and a string of lights in our front window. That’s about it. Excessive decorating seems to say, “look at me, my house is prettier than yours.” Christmas is not a competition. It’s a joyous season of life.
- Eat less: Americans seem to find any excuse to eat. We tend to buy more food than we need. We eat unhealthy foods. Food gets wasted. We gain weight just to try to lose it in the new year. It’s illogical. We don’t need more food just because it’s Christmas. Cut back on food this season.
- Be eco-freindly: There are so many things we do during the holidays that are wasteful. You can go green this year. Here are some simple ideas:
- Shop online. It reduces the amount of gas you consume. You’ll have more time and energy for the season.
- Shop local. Don’t go to those big national chain stores. Shop at locally-owned businesses.
- Be creative in wrapping your gifts. Consider wapping gifts in blankets or towels. You can wrap gifts inside of other gifts.
- Turn off your lights at night. Many people leave their lights on all night. This wastes power.
- Recycle your waste. Reuse boxes, bags, ribbons and bows.
- Don’t eat out too much. It’s easy to start eating out more often during the holiday season. If you keep things simple you’ll do less running around. Less running around means less eating out.
Cut Back On Gifts, Bond With Your Family
Cut back this holiday season. Be more intentional in how much you buy. Don’t overdecorate. Don’t overeat. Find alternatives. Get creative with your kids. Make your own decorations. Read Christmas stories together. Make healthy snacks together.
Buy less. Bond more.
Learn more about simple living. Read my book, The Happiness of Simple. It’s my Christmas gift to you. The book teaches you how simple living leads to happiness and productivity.