Monday, December 19, 2016

Pressure at Christmas

A work associate asked me this morning if I was ready for Christmas.  I paused for a quick assessment and then said "Yes, aside from 2 gift cards I need to pick up, I'm ready."

I'm not sharing this to brag about how organized I am, or how 'on schedule' I am.  Rather, I'm sharing it to affirm that I do not drive myself crazy or overspend to find the "perfect" gifts at Christmas.  Why not?  First, because perfection is a fantasy, and second, because I choose not to put that kind of pressure on myself.

When my nieces and nephews were younger it was easy and fun to buy them toys, games, and creative things at Christmas.  When they got older it became much harder to get them things because their personalities were developing and their tastes were changing.  We began asking their parents for suggestions of what they're "into" now, which helped to a degree, but also added some pressure when they wanted "the" popular gift of the season that was expensive or hard to find.

Fortunately Spouse & I are both of the same mentality in this regard.  We do not pressure ourselves to find the "perfect" gift that will change our loved ones' life.  In reality, lives aren't changed by material possessions.  Lives are made better by spending time with each other, loving one another, appreciating one another, and being present in the moment.  That's how you have a positive effect on someone's life.

So gifts from us are just that:  gifts.  Things that don't cost a lot, that may or may not be needed, but are most likely going to be liked and appreciated.  Cute costume jewelry.  A t-shirt with a funny saying.  A coffee mug with his favorite team on it.  Cool sunglasses.  Soft flannel sheets.  A novelty watch.  A monogrammed shaving kit.  A portable electronics charger.  A gift card to the movie theater.  Stuff that's less than $50. and most of it less than $25.

Not having the stress of finding "perfect" gifts allows us to enjoy the days leading up to the holiday so much more, and once we're all together, allows us to focus on being together and sharing ourselves, rather than on the gifts.  

Remember that gifts are just a part of how most people spend Christmas.  There's the yummy food, enjoying the beautiful tree and decorations, spending time with family and friends, hugging, laughing, kissing, and appreciating all that we have.  Of course if you're religious you can add all the Jesus stuff on top of that.  

You can reduce your holiday pressure if you choose to.  Then you'll be able to enjoy the holiday rather than just surviving it.


anne marie in philly said...

I got my holiday present from you today - your card! but more important is your friendship! love to you and spouse! :)

mistress maddie said...

I am the same as you. I never feel pressure during the holidays. And if I do it's gas from all the over eating.