Greetings and welcome to my little blog and my little corner of the world. I appreciate every single visitor, every person who gets to my “be kind” sign off at the end of the blog post, every comment, every like. I appreciate it all. So thank you. Thank you sincerely for supporting my effort. It means the world.
Christmas. The best holiday of the year to most. I’m sure you caught the title of this post, and no, I am not a Scrooge. I have just changed the way I approach the holidays and I have a plethora of reasons why, so bare with me.
This post in no uncertain terms, is a slight to anyone who loves the shopping. The wrapping. The lists. the gift tags. The ornaments, etc etc. Whatever makes you happy and whatever you wish to do is quite alright with me. This is purely my opinion and what I have chosen to do.
I have a sizable family with two parents, three siblings plus all of their kids, my four kids and my oldest son who has children too. There is no way you can buy for one without the other, etc. So the list is very long. With me traveling for a living, most times I cannot get anywhere for the holidays and I have been known to spend the holidays on my own in a hotel room. The planning has to start at least early October purely for expenses and the mailing is a small mortgage.
One year my youngest son said, “I don’t need any more things mom, if you really want to do something for us for the holidays, just treat us to dinner or something to do”. LIGHT BULB MOMENT!
I am known as being a Minimalist (work in constant progress) and living with intention. I believe we remember what we do and not what we have. I hear my children talking when they are together and I absolutely have never heard them mention what they GOT, they always talked about what we DID. I look around and see so much need, alongside people scurrying like ants to buy still more for this holiday that is supposed to be about giving. So I put out an email to my entire family asking them if they would be open to not buying Christmas gifts (except for the children of course) and donate to a worthy non profit cause of our choice instead. The idea went over very well and we all did it.
I toned down drastically the large amount of money I was used to spending and didn’t shop. I bought gift cards for something to do, an activity, out to dinner, etc and spent the time I would have spent shopping, fighting traffic, waiting in lines, fighting grumpy people on writing heartfelt Christmas Cards.
I must admit, it was awkward at first. Christmas came and it felt like I had failed in some way. But it didn’t last long. I literally freed up almost three months of time. I freed up more money than I would care to admit. The holidays felt more intimate, meant more, was real togetherness with great phone calls and genuine hugs as we were not distracted over a mountain of gifts piled up under a tree that would be torn open and enjoyed for a very short time.
It is a decision I do not regret and will continue. No longer will I be a part of the smothering consumerism as I see people scrambling to buy more, charge more, spend more. I provide a fun activity or a meal or something special like a massage or a pedicure and make donation so that others can be helped and not forgotten during the most commercialized holiday of the year.
Last year I donated to
Water.org – a non profit that’s purpose is to provide clean water to underserved areas in third world countries.
MusicForRelief.org – a non profit that reaches out to those affected by natural disasters
And I donated 20 new blankets to the local homeless shelter.
Like I mentioned before, if Christmas is your thing, then go for it and be happy. The holidays are great. The food. The family. The laughs. The silly hats. I love it all. I have just stepped back from the downside of it. And the downside for me is the overwhelming consumerism that I try very hard to step away from as much as I can.
Thank you for your patience and for stopping by!
Until next time……….be kind……..always,