Psychologists warn that too many gifts at once can overwhelm and overstimulate children, and cause stress for all ages. These same experts also point out the ingratitude that can result when children are presented with ever-bigger gifts from competing relatives.
Adults are faced with finding a place for all the stuff, and the work of cleaning house to get rid of unwanted gifts.
Therefore, simple may be best. But how? Here are some ways you can celebrate the holidays with less.
Clutter distracts and takes our time – time we could be spending forging and nurturing relationships. Electronic gadgets, games, and so forth tend to isolate the individual (not always, of course – some games can bring families together). Instead of more stuff, plan some time to be with friends and family. Time is a wonderful and increasingly rare gift.
Create a peaceful, simple atmosphere in your home to offset the crazy consumerism taking place around you. Let decorations be minimal and special. This will help your mind be at rest and create a restful atmosphere in your home.
Simplify Your Gift List
Try not to think competitively. Instead, think in terms of meaningful gifts – quality, not quantity. If in-laws, ex-spouses, grandparents, etc. insist on showering your kids with gifts, consider asking them to keep the gifts at their house rather than yours. Your child can then have something special to play with at his or her relatives’ homes.
Tying in with the above, set limits on what you’re going to buy and for whom you are going to buy. Cut back where you can, and see if you can draw names for gifts rather than having to buy for all your co-workers and/or relatives.
It’s important to let your family know that you are planning to cut back, and why. It will help prevent disappointment on Christmas morning or whenever people’s material expectations are not going to be met. Talk to your children about how less is more, and about how you want to foster a sense of gratitude in your home.
Continue or Start Traditions
So many times it’s the memories that make the holidays, well, memorable! Traditions do not have to cost a lot of money or involve a lot of waste. They can simply be a special activity or something unique your friends and family do during the holiday season. Maybe you’d like to continue a tradition you were brought up with, or maybe a friend has an interesting one you could adopt for your family. Building memories is a great way to keep the holidays simple.
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