It’s only a few more days until Christmas. For those of you who celebrate this holiday, what feelings does that sentence bring up for you? Do you feel joyful and at peace, or tense and stressed out? Are you doing the simple things that have meaning for you, or are you out fighting the crowds and feeling frantic, because you still haven’t purchased all your gifts?
The media has been running a daily countdown for quite awhile now. It’s always connected with how many shopping days left until Christmas. Our current economy is not conducive for most of us to go out and spend a lot of money, and yet so many businesses are really depending on our doing just that. It’s a push/pull pressure on all of us.
Even though we don’t really have the financial means, we too often give in to the subtle or downright “in your face” advertising and other pressures to buy, buy, buy! The message is that you need to purchase gifts to show your love for all your friends and family, to make that special someone happy, and sometimes even to impress the people you do business with, etc. I’m not any different than anyone else with this. I feel the pressure. Even though our family has simplified our gift giving over the last few years, there’s still stress involved.
We all need to just stop for a minute. We need to take a slow, deep breath, and allow ourselves to get quiet. I believe we can find peace during this holiday season by being clear about what our priorities are, and then choosing actions that are consistent with our values.
I remember past years, when I spent money that I couldn’t easily afford, and time and energy that I didn’t really have, trying to get just the perfect gifts for my loved ones. I wanted them to know how much I loved them. After all, wouldn’t the perfect gift show that?
I remember many Christmas mornings, standing and looking at the abundance of gifts under the tree, and feeling very uncomfortable! I wasn’t living my values. I didn’t like the commercialism of Christmas. I still feel that way. We lose the whole meaning of Christmas when it becomes so focused on the latest, and usually the most expensive, electronic gift, or the “must have” toy or clothing item of the season! How can such extravagance be right, when there are so many people that don’t even have a way to get their most basic needs met?
I think change is always a process, and it’s the most successful when done in small steps. Our family has made changes, but I don’t know if we’ve come up with what works best for all of us yet. I think our holiday celebrations are still a “work in progress.” Maybe we’ll do something different next year. Who knows? The most important thing is that we’re all willing to think about it, and talk about it together.
To find peace during the holiday, we need to make sure that we are living our values. When we don’t, we suffer in a variety of ways. Try to spend your time and energy doing the simple things that bring you peace and joy. It’s so worth it!
I wish you all many blessings this Christmas!
Until next time,