November 15, 2010

Something Different

The holidays are right around the corner and if we’re not careful we’ll find ourselves buried beneath all of the hustle and bustle before too long. If you’re anything like me, whenever this time of year rolls around you begin to wonder if this year could be something different. Between the lists, parties, traffic, bills, exchanges…we end up spending so much of our time doing things we’d really rather not do. Then our holidays become nothing more than a frenzied attempt of managing an already stressful and busy work, family and social schedule.

What happened to the whole peace, love, and joy thing? Since when did the Christmas season become a season of stress, debt and exhaustion? As I think about the Christmas story as told in the Gospels, I realize that for many of us, the holiday season needs to become something different. I’m not suggesting we throw out our family traditions or stop buy gifts altogether but perhaps one less gift or maybe think about how and where we spend our time.

So the following are just a few suggestions I’m throwing out there, take what you want and send the others right back…

1. Consider how others (and yourself) deal with change.
-Some people thrive on change, while others avoid it like the plague. Be sensitive to each when suggesting a change in your or your family’s holiday routine.
-When it comes to traditions, change can be a tricky thing so be careful.

2. Start small.
-Don’t stop buying gifts altogether but instead maybe buy/spend less.
-Take some time to think about which gifts you are going to ask for and why. Could you do with 1 (…or 2, 3, 8, 12…) less gift?
-Come up with creative ways to stay small because remember it’s not about the amount of money the gifts cost.

3. Think about the way you spend.
-This is more than just about spending $, but asking ourselves how we spend our time. Time is such a precious thing isn’t it? And it seems like we have less and less of it during the Christmas season. Is that how it should be?
-What if you spent more time with loved ones and less time in traffic? What if you spent more time with family and less $ on gifts for them?

Christmas gives us a beautiful story to tell, one that talks about things like peace, joy and hope…NOT stress, credit card bills or being exhausted. Perhaps this Christmas season could be something different. The way we “celebrate” the holidays tells a story, we just have to decide which one we’ll choose to tell.


Holly Anderson said...

Excellent, Matt! This is so true, and I know it. But reading this makes me excited to make more of those changes this year.

Thanks so much for the push!

Matt Lipan said...

Holly Anderson: thanks for the read and comment.

glad you enjoyed getting "pushed," i needed the same as well. i hope you and i both are able to really make it different this year somehow.

thanks for sharing!