True Meaning of Holiday – Find (Money) Contentment with the Holidays
As Americans, we like to spend money. When it comes to the holidays, most people throw common sense to the wind and splurge, with all of the justifications, of course. We go through the holiday season enjoying our friends, families, and experiences – maybe exhausted and fast paced. Then, January rolls around and we take a breath. We realize we lost complete control of our money and spending during the holidays (big eeek and deep breath). And we are exhausted and need time to recover from the holidays. We vow to change and not fall into the same trap the following year. Then, the holidays hit again and the same cycle rolls through our lives.
According to the latest Gallup poll, U.S. adults plan to spend an average of $785 on Christmas gifts this year, which is consistent for the past four years. The total industry as a whole totals more than $465 billion, according to the National Retail Federation. Don’t worry if you are thinking the same thing as me….what if I don’t plan to spend that much money?
Many times, people don’t account for the time they spend doing or preparing for something as money spent. According to an online survey done in Australia (Pure Profile and Broadway Shopping Centre), women spend on average 83 hours in holiday preparations. One in three spend over 160 hours in preparation for the holidays! Wow! My head is spinning!!
When is the last time you looked up the actual definition of “holiday” in the dictionary? Let’s take a closer look at the meaning..
hol·i·day – noun
a day of festivity or recreation when no work is done.
hol·i·day – verb
to vacation in a specified place.
Reflect on your holidays…
How does your holiday compare to the true meaning of the word “holiday?”
Probably not even close. The statistics above prove it. Typically, in America, we are stressed to the max, every space of our calendar is filled, our to-do list is a mile long, baking cookies, planning teacher gifts, running around shopping for the perfect gift, searching Pinterest boards of the perfect homemade gifts, standing in line for Black Friday shopping, attending holiday parties, and the list goes on and on and on. Every single thing we do for the holidays – creates work. The definition of holiday is just the opposite; it simply states “a day of festivity or recreation when no work is done.”
So, how can you find contentment with the holiday?
1. Write a Thankful List
Before the holiday season begins, write a list of what you are thankful for. What has happened in the past year that brings you bliss? What fulfills your heart? Keep that list posted where you see it on a daily basis during the holiday season.
2. Write a list of your holiday traditions. Are there traditions you want to continue? Are there traditions that you are ready to let go of? What traditions brings dissatisfaction in your life? Focus on the tradition that bring you bliss.
3. Say No
Look at #1 Thankful List & #2 Holiday Traditions. Pick your top 5 and make those your priority. Ignore the rest of the holiday hubbub. Say no. Practice saying no. Yes, I am saying – it is 100% okay to say no. Remember the definition of holiday and your lists.
4. Address the Attitude on Gifts
Could you be satisfied with less material possessions in your life? What would that look like? How can you change gift giving to be more personal and less material? The best gift is a gift from the heart.
Relax. Remember your Thankful List & Holiday Traditions. Focus on your heart. Take a break from the perfect Facebook and Instagram highlights. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.
In today’s society, we justify our worth on what we have – our material possessions. Not our traditions, memories, or what our heart desires. Why is that? We spend our days trying to keep up with the Joneses. Watching the Facebook feed as reality. Remember, those status updates are their best of the best highlights.
For me, personally, holidays are about memories, traditions, family, and friends. It is not about material possessions at all. Yes, my kids want everything from that shiny Toys R Us catalog. Remember the definition of holiday – a day of festivity or recreation when no work is done.
How can you find the true meaning of holiday this year? How can you find money contentment in all of that spending? My heart’s desire for you this holiday season is to live life to the fullest.
Kristy Marshall has a passion to help others – specifically anyone who deals with money. As a wife and mom, she understands the daily struggles with money and joys of life with kids! Kristy and her husband paid off $53,000 in student loan debt in one year. Kristy is the founder and CEO of Money Bliss. Her professional background is in financial services and marketing. Through her journey, she has become aware of certain areas of struggles that typically center around money and wants to help others overcome them.