22 Jun Why it is Important to Create Our Own Holiday Traditions
The holiday season has become increasingly focused on consumerism, and it seems that as a society we have all just accepted that this is the way our holidays are supposed to be. For the most part we all comply and centre our holiday season on buying presents, strategizing and stressing about purchasing the biggest and best gifts for our loved ones. But what if we all just took a step back and revaluated our holiday priorities?
Why is consumerism our focus? Is it is just because we’re told it should be? Think back to your best holiday memory, is it of the Christmas that you received the most expensive presents? We’d be willing to bet that it’s not; in fact, we’d be willing to bet that your best holiday memories have more to do with receiving the most thoughtful gift, or that perhaps your best memories have NOTHING to do with material gifts at all. If you were to reprioritize and construct your ideal holiday season around what has made you the happiest in the past, invariably, the result would be that you will have more fun, be less stressed, and be less financially burdened.
This article from the blog The Heavy Purse with Shannon Ryan has a great list of no and low cost ideas for creating wonderful family traditions. Shannon’s article raises several excellent points, but one that really rings true is, “the reality is that the debt you could create may last longer than your child’s memory of the toy…traditions are what they will remember as adults and want to recreate with their children”. Perhaps, we should stop making large corporations so happy, and focus on the happiness of ourselves and our loved ones.
One of our favourite traditions is drawing names for Christmas gifts. This is done by having every member of your primary Christmas gift list putting their name into a hat, and then everyone draws a name; you are responsible for making or buying that person a gift. If you decide to purchase gifts, make sure that you put a limit on the amount that everyone is allowed to spend; the lower the limit, the more thoughtful and creative the gifts will be. If everyone can keep who they drew a secret, it adds a fun element of surprise, and can alleviate some of the pressure of meeting someone’s specific expectations.
Enjoying time with your loved ones does not have to be stressful, or a financial burden! Holiday celebrations centred around consumerism are a burden that we can all do without. Take a step back, and really think about refocusing your holiday priorities this year.