The holidays aren't about the big presents and fancy wrapping

live your best life Dec 02, 2022


There's something we all know but sometimes need to be reminded of. 

Christmas isn’t about the big presents and the fancy decorations. It also isn’t about cramming in as many activities and festivities during the month of December as you possibly can.

It isn’t about having the biggest Christmas party or the biggest tree. It's not about the presents. 

Instead, Christmas is about being with loved ones, exchanging meaningful gifts, having a meal together, and enjoying each other’s company. 

Slow Down 

Start by slowing down this holiday season. It’s hard to enjoy everything when your calendar is so full that you’re simply rushing from one event to the next. 

Instead of trying to fit it all in, do it all, and go all out on everything from decorating the house to hosting various Christmas parties, slow down. Take a breath and look around you.

Savor this time with your family. Snuggle up on the couch and watch a favorite holiday movie. Make some macaroni ornaments with the kids or your grandkids. 

Take a nap or sip a cup of hot apple cider.

Slow down and soak it all in. If you take the time to treasure the moments that arise, you'll remember this time forever. And you'll say goodbye to stress. 

Scale Back On Everything

The biggest problem with doing too much and having too much is that it loses meaning. This is particularly true around Christmas. It may be tempting to buy the most expensive gift for someone but creating an experience for someone can be much more memorable than a big pile of small presents that look impressive but that someone may not even want and will toss out later. 

Instead of going all out with the decorations, do a few things well and choose items that have meaning to you and your family. 

Instead of buying more and more gifts, set a limit and spend both time and money on quality instead of quantity. 


We’re living in the age of overconsumption. Sometimes we try to fill ourselves up with the feeling of excitement or happiness when we buy something. But the dopamine rush from buying only lasts a short time. The feelings underneath of emptiness, sadness, and disappointment are still waiting for us.  

It takes courage to resist overspending. We can unconsciously overspend in hopes we will make someone happy or fill the empty place we have inside ourselves.  

Instead of overconsuming, let's think about how to make the holidays less about buying and more about giving in a different way. 

Other ways to give

Instead of all the spending, why not give the gift of experiences and create special moments that will have lasting memories? 

Here are some ideas to switch things up and perhaps help you feel more connection and joy with your loved ones.  

Ideas for presents this Christmas

  1. Give the gift of time: a mother-daughter spa day, a special date night, or tickets to a movie with your grandchildren.
  2. Give the gift of learning: drumming class, cooking classes, yoga classes, an art class you take together.
  3. Give the gift of service: childcare, massage, or something from your kitchen made by you.
  4. Repurpose something you have that you know the other person would love: a piece of jewelry, a book, a framed picture, china.
  5. A subscription to something: a magazine, a box of organic veggies, a box of bulbs to plant, a self-care box.
  6. Make a slideshow of photos you've made of your family or a photo book 

Share the wealth  

1. Donate money to a local, national or international charity.

2. Bring food donations to your local nonprofit agency that provides for families in need

3. Buy a homeless person a Christmas dinner.

4. Purchase a toy for a child from a Christmas-giving tree

Be Kind

1. Send a text or email to someone you know who's having a hard time 

2. Smile at someone you don’t know

3. Leave a gift or letter of appreciation for your mailman

4. Let someone go ahead of you in line

5. Send someone a handwritten note who has lost a loved one to let them know you're thinking of them

6. Take a homemade meal to an elderly neighbor who lives alone

7. Write a letter to someone you love and read it out loud to them

Focus On The Truly Important Stuff

Remember to focus on the truly important things. What will you remember about this Christmas a year from now? How will you make this your best Christmas? 

Over to You:

Who are the people you want to spend this special season with? 

What holiday events and gatherings are most important to you and your family? 

What will you do to pause and reflect on this Christmas? 

Focus on the truly important stuff, be it spiritual or just for fun, and savor every moment of this season.  

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