I always giggle when I see people turn green and grinchy around christmas time.
“December is so stressful for me,” they proclaim. There is no chance of meeting up for coffee with any of my people in the last two weeks of the year.
It’s not strange to feel overwhelmed by all the holiday chaos. Companies are using their marketing budgets to push us to buy more christmas themed decorations and gifts every year.
Not to mention the facts that you have to prepare the perfect organic/low carb/vegan/gluten free christmas dinner. And last but not least, my personal favorite, the dilemma of what to wear at the 5+ christmas parties you must attend.
United state of madness
As an European I became aware of an interesting trend over here. Companies started to copy the American holiday traditions, which means that every store in the Netherlands now has its own black Friday sale.
Hold in mind, we obviously DO NOT celebrate thanksgiving here. It’s just a completely random sale, only to persuade people to buy the things they never needed in the first place.
The saddest part is not that people spend a lot of money buying things that don’t really make them happy. The real problem is that it makes people feel overwhelmed, stressed out and unworthy.
Don’t get me wrong here. I love christmas as much as the next gal. However, it’s totally ridiculous that so many of us feel stressed out because they feel pressured into buying everybody the perfect christmas gifts and making everybody happy.
To all of you who feel stressed this christmas, I’d like you to consider this. This is your life. Nobody is forcing you to follow any trends. Only you decide what goes on in your life. When you become aware of your own values and the importance of your own well being, you will realize how ridiculous holiday stress really is.
So, what’s the alternative you ask?
Consider: having a minimalist christmas
Having a minimalist christmas doesn’t mean that you don’t buy gifts or decorate your christmas tree. It simply means that you don’t allow the outside noises to influence you to buy stuff that doesn’t make your life easier or happier.
Here are three quick tips I could think of that bring some simplicity to your christmas time.
#1. Buy better christmas gifts
I personally enjoy buying gifts for others, but I often really don’t know what to buy. The best way to prevent buying a gift that someone will not enjoy is to simply ask them what they want. That way, you are always safe.
#2. Don’t go shopping when there’s a sale
Most people love a good sale, but it’s actually better to avoid them. The danger is that you will be very tempted to buy stuff that you never considered buying in the first place. Think about this: is it really a good bargain when you where never planning on spending your money in the first place?
#4. Stop and breath (and enjoy!)
Don’t sweat the small stuff and worry about the fact that aunt jenny may not enjoy your soup. In the end it really doesn’t matter. Christmas is about spending quality time with friends and family. Just relax and enjoy!
What are your thoughts on christmas and consumerism? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section.