Get Back to Enjoying the Season by Buying Less and Living More

Two huge sources of stress during the holidays have to do with the constraints on our time and finances.

We get so caught up in what is expected of us in this age of materialism that we barely have time to enjoy the things that really matter: our family, our friends, and the meaning of Christmas.

Instead of taking time to cozy up by the fireplace and read stories to the kids, show them how to bake simple cookies, listen to Christmas music, or relax in fuzzy slippers, we spend December circling parking lots, braving icy winds, squeezing around people, and standing in endless lines with aching feet. We race by Santa in the mall with barely a hello, don’t see the decorations, try not to snarl when someone gets in our way, and rush home to spend endless hours wrapping.

We’re so tired, grumpy, and in debt that we’re grateful when the holidays are over.

Something’s wrong with this picture.

My daughter Paula chillin’ with the polar bear.

I love Christmas, and I think it’s a time to be cherished. It’s a time for reflection. It’s a holiday for love, togetherness, and giving of yourself. The message of Christmas is hope, peace, and making the world better. We may not achieve world peace, but we can donate warm clothes to the poor or drop something in the food bank. We can give ourselves the gift of relaxation. We can give our family the gift of our presence.

The best Christmases I remember are when I read Heidi (Johanna Spyri) to my kids, when we watched Christmas specials surrounded by the glow of coloured lights, when the kids learned to bake cookies and turkey, when my daughter perfected her holiday hot chocolate recipe, when my mother sent knit hats and sweaters and Czech cookies in the mail, and long ago, when our Christmases consisted of the smell of pine branches, European crystal, dogs and cats in our laps, and three generations under one roof. In recent years, we’ve had four generations, which is very special, indeed.

Now that our extended family is growing, it’s becoming increasingly important to deal with the gift issue, or we will all go bankrupt. My kids have suggested drawing one name out of a hat or giving official gifts only to the children. My sister has made the most beautiful gifts. My mother would knit and bake. These were not only treasures for us who had no time, but lasting keepsakes (the knits, not the cookies!). Some of my friends continue to make personalized paper cards.

Paula’s signature hot chocolate with ultra-secret spices!

This article by Elizabeth Scott, MS, posted in VeryWell offers some thoughtful and inexpensive gift ideas. Note that the article is tagged under stress management!

Giving Christmas Gifts on the Cheap

About Eva Blaskovic

I am a multi-genre author of literary fiction, fantasy, and paranormal, and writer of non-fiction articles on parenting, writing, education, health, and travel. My background encompasses both the sciences and the arts. I teach at a specialized clinic for learning disorders and mentor young authors. In addition to writing and teaching, my passions are weather, Indian food, gardening, and music. I have played eight musical instruments and spent many years immersed in taekwondo and karate. In my youth, I was an avid canoeist. I was born in Prague, Czech Republic, grew up in the Great Lakes region of Ontario, Canada, and moved to Alberta in 1988, where I raised four children.
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2 Responses to Get Back to Enjoying the Season by Buying Less and Living More

  1. Anony Mole says:

    I’ve actually come to resent and dread the holiday season — despite a strong desire to enjoy it. As the end of the year draws near, I can help but cringe thinking about gifts I won’t be buying and giving. About time I won’t be spending — forced to work or starve (not really but the sentiment is there). Nostalgic about times past when the kids were small and easy to please. Now, I find myself wanting to tear out December and skip to January, just to be rid of these conflicted feelings.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I understand your feelings. The Christmas season has become a real source of stress for all the reasons you mention.

      To make matters worse, every year it seems we work more and make less.

      I struggle with it every year. I’ve told myself that I can only do what I can do — both in terms of time and money.

      I hope you get some time out for yourself this year to rest, enjoy, and be with people you love.

      Liked by 1 person

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