Did you ever wonder how the holidays got so out of control? Why do days that bring families together cause so much stress and aggravation prior to their occurrence? These questions have plagued me for some time now and I’d like to share my conclusions.
We have become a nation driven by material things. We have to have the biggest and the best of everything no matter at what cost to our economy or each other. Think back, if you can, to a time when things were simpler. I’ve done this a lot lately and have found that I like the way things used to be.
Can we go back to when life was less stressful, the bills got paid, food was on the table and everyone had a roof over their heads? Yes, I believe we can and it starts with the holidays. Take this time of year, this aura of giving that captures our hearts and brings us closer together and turn it into a chance to redirect our lives toward the path of less stress and more enjoyable holiday experiences.
Avoid long lines at the overpriced department stores and think small, unique and personalized. Think from the heart not the wallet. No one needs the latest gadget from China, Indonesia, Korea, etc. (read the made in tags it’ll boggle the mind). I’ve been doing this a lot lately and try my best to buy American made products. With so many out of work here, if I buy local then it’s my hope that at least one more person won’t lose their job.
Think local, small Mom and Pop type stores struggling to compete and I bet you’ll find something unique for that eccentric Aunt. Fall back on the everyday gift idea such as a certificate for the grocery store, hair salon, or even the pharmacy (check it out, you might help someone get the meds they need for a month). These gifts would be more appreciated than anything high-tech right now. You can’t eat an I-phone. LOL.
And for those who need a little escape (you know, the woman who works two jobs, takes care of the house and kids and never makes time for herself) give the gift of a day of beauty at a spa and a romance book to relax and slip away from reality for awhile. I know I’d appreciate a gift card for a spa day and I love to read so a book would thrill me to the core.
Or you can make a present for someone. Home baked goods always are appreciated and take time and effort on the part of the giver, which makes them special. One of my favorite gifts ever was a hand-crocheted blanket given to my husband and I by his Grandmother. I still have it and use it.
Don’t forget to thank those who serve in the military. Many are so far away from home and would greatly appreciate even the simplest of things. It doesn’t cost much to put together a care package and ship it. Contact S.O.S. America and they can give you a name and address of a service person who’d love to receive a package from home. Sos.firstname.lastname@example.org
Let’s take this time to put the simple back into the holidays. It’s not about who gave the biggest gift. It’s about being with family and helping each other.
Stepping off my soapbox now to wish everyone a Safe, Happy and Healthy Upcoming Holiday Season.