1.) Set a time to get crafty with others. Create Holiday cards, bake cookies or a cake to gift, prepare a personalized gift, make an ornament. Grown-ups and kids alike will be making memories during these activities.
2.) Enjoy a Holiday movie at home, and make it a big deal. Wear something fun like Holiday PJ’s or anything Holiday inspired(even fun socks work), prepare a hot beverage, turn on the fire place (if you have one) and have some special treats. You could keep it simple with a red and white theme(ex. strawberries with coconut whipped cream).
3.) Set a Budget and Stick to it. We have found that using a credit card (that you pay in full each month) with cash back is a good way to save a specific amount according to what you spent that year. This can work for people that don’t get special bonuses over the Holidays. When you have a budget you will make it work.
4.) Switch from individual gifts to secret Santa or a white elephant. When families are growing this can be a helpful practice. Buying individual gifts for a big and growing family can be overly-stressful. Let’s simplify! Keep in mind that the Holidays aren’t the only time for giving, you can find other occasions during the year to send something special to different family members or a note to remind them how much you care.
5.) Practice Gratefulness. Commit to writing down each day what you are grateful for and share some of these things in your conversations with family and friends. You will see how it changes our perspective and lifts our spirits as a collective.
6.) Gifts for Saving. Use the opportunity to teach your kids or yourself about the importance of saving. You can start a savings account for them to instill this important practice for their future. The sooner they start, the more they can make. Don’t you wish you started saving when you were 5???!
7.) Adopt traditions that don’t involve gift giving. Take a Holiday walk and invite friends, family and neighbors. Just picture a candlelit walk with the special people in your life; I bet you just took a breath picturing this. If you want to go for the singing you get extra points. Humans are social creatures, our hearts get full when we connect and have social experiences. Make an effort to be social and explore traditions in your community. There are many ideas to explore that don’t involve gifts.
8.) Visit other towns close by. Find out where there are special Holiday light displays, free concerts, plays and special events near you. This is a fun way to get in the spirit of the season without having to do much planning. Be sure to eat before getting in the car and plan some snacks if you are concerned about expenses.
9.) Encourage experiences over things. Have you ever “needed” something so badly and after getting it, just a few weeks after, you find it is already forgotten or barely used? And now you are “needing” something else? We have all been there. We usually need to get rid of things rather than getting more things. Don’t be attached to a date for gifting material things, waiting for the sales can be rewarding for your pocket. Like the petit prince said: “What is essential is invisible to the eye”
10.) Learn to receive gracefully. Don’t feel obligated to gift back whenever you receive a gift. Sometimes just a sincere thank you is enough. There are other ways to show you appreciate them through the year; in fact it might be the reason they decided to give you something, to say thank you for being who you are or how you make them feel. You are a gem and just like giving, receiving is an act to be cultivated.
Find the Joy in you, if you can’t, just stare at the moon for as long as it takes ;-)
Peace & Joy,
Dr. Wilmayra, DC
NSA practitioner, offering a gentle Chiropractic approach to improve the way clients process stress and increase the flexibility of their spine.