BELIEVE Oh my, it’s the holidays again.I better gear up for the higher stress level.Seems if we are not stressed, someone is telling us we are. Perhaps we are a bit more stressed.Perhaps the stress is part of the rush.Either way, the season will come and go, won’t it?
In an article written last year by Juliet Schor in the Boston Globe, she told us: Americans are fed up with the seasonal consumerism; according to a 2005 Center for a New American Dream poll, nearly 80 percent of us wish the holidays were less materialistic.
It seems that although we are fed up, we are still “caught up” and can’t seem to get off the merry-go-round of consumerism.
So, for those of us wanting to get away from this trend, what is keeping us from getting less materialistic? Tradition, I suspect.Imagine yourself at age 11 and the tradition of an abundance of packages under the tree was suddenly changed to this:“Kids, this year we are donating money to a charity.” Would you have been ready for the change? Probably not.As a child, I suspect I would not have been ready to switch the tradition cold turkey. Therefore, I ask, what is the compromise?
Perhaps the compromise is to believe.Truly, what is it that YOU believe?How is your lifestyle holding to that belief? How can your traditions reflect that belief?
Easing into a new tradition may be best.
In the meantime, here are a couple of thoughts on what you may believe:
1.Believe for yourself this is a happy holiday.Check your own gratitude list.Don’t have one? Make one……..and share it with those you love.
2.Write a reminder on your fridge, your mirror, your dashboard that helps you stay focused on what and who you love.That CAN be the reason for having a happy holiday.
3.Talk to your children about finding the good in everyone.Show them yourself that you are capable of that.No children?Talk to anyone about a positive attribute in someone you know.You’ll get the same results.Believe in goodness.
4.Give everyone at home a job that contributes to your holiday tradition.Can someone put stamps on the cards?Mix the dough?Put out the decorations? Is it only you who will do it?See number 1.
5.Embrace imperfection:everything from how your house looks, whether or not you can afford too many gifts, what to cook.Focus on creating joy, or peace- not perfection.Why? Because you believe in it.
6.And shopping.How do you deal with the overwhelming job of it all?Use my mantra:The holidays WILL come and go, no matter what I accomplish!No one cancels Christmas because I didn’t get a perfect gift.The truth is, the giving of the gift may just be the perfect gift, every time.It says, “I thought of YOU.”Period. Not “you are worth $14.99 but not $34.99.”That’s how we work away from consumerism.Believe in the process of gift giving, not the result.
7.And what about Forced Family Fun?Well, it seems it comes with the territory.You may be blessed with a family that is completely compatible, and you may not.Part of the reality is being with people, love ‘em or not.Can we do this and believe that it’s best not to be alone in the world? I sure will try.
If my mantra doesn’t work for you, what will yours be?
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