The holiday season is wonderful in so many ways, but it can also bring up a lot of complicated feelings – one of which is the expectation that we have to do it all, have it all, be it all.
Especially in today’s day and age, being able to peek into a stranger’s living room at the tap of a finger and see their perfectly curated and top-notch decorated space…it can make you feel pretty inferior. Even if you know that it’s not all real, it can make you feel pressured to keep up with the latest trends and gift guides.
Where does this need come from?
One thing is for certain…
Less Is More
There is immense pressure to buy, buy, buy during the holidays, and it creates this false narrative that if we do, we will be happier and live much better lives.
But the research suggests otherwise. Several studies over the years have determined what I think we already know to be true – genuine contentment is rooted in simplicity, and in appreciating all that we already have.
According to an article in ScienceDirect, data has shown that after basic needs have been met, acquiring more is not at all associated with greater well-being. Simply put – true happiness doesn’t come from how much we have. It comes from the little things. The simple things. It comes from within.
And when we get caught up in thinking we need more, we forget what this time of year is all about – connection.
The True Meaning Of The Season
Imagine a friend showing up on your doorstep with a basket of her family’s most treasured holiday recipes. Imagine how you feel when you see her face… when you see the joy in her eyes as she lifts the basket up to show you what she’s brought to share…
Now imagine being alone, but surrounded by gifts. You open a present of high value from a distant relative who you haven’t seen in years. Maybe the excitement of the gift lasts a moment or more, but it doesn’t create the same warmth in your heart as the friend on your doorstep.
I’m not saying that sending gifts from afar isn’t thoughtful, I’m just saying that we often forget things can never take the place of our presence. When we look back on memories, it’s the moments we remember, not the material items.
So we need to slow down.
By saying no to excessive gift-giving, and creating memories instead.
By saying no to expectations.
By being more intentional. And you want to know something magical? By doing these things, you won’t just save money…you’ll start to notice your life SHiFTⓇ.
5 Benefits To Spending Less This Holiday Season
When we talk about life changes, we refer to The SHiFTⓇ Method – an approach to compassionately transforming your life and home. Each letter stands for an aspect of life that makes up a person’s general well-being.
These are the 5 benefits you can gain, and aspects of life that can improve, given a conscious effort in spending and consuming less over the holidays.
1. Social benefits.
Spending less allows us to nurture connections with people more deeply.
Contrary to what marketing makes us believe, buying an elaborate gift or the latest and greatest in holiday decor isn’t required for genuine connections with the people we love.
Feeling the need to buy those things puts unnecessary pressure on everyone, and distracts us from the moments that matter most. Moments like the ones sitting around together, carefully pulling the newspaper pieces from precious ornaments passed down from years before, hanging them branch by branch, reminiscing on the stories that each one tells.
Oh, how moments like this fill the heart with warmth – much more so than the color-coordinated bulbs and garland you feel pressured to buy.
2. Health benefits.
With less spending comes less stress.
We’re all familiar with how quickly the to-do lists can become unmanageable this time of year, so marking off some of those expectations can sure take a load off. It can allow you the space needed to carry out a more mindful holiday season, and with mindfulness comes gratitude, lifted spirits, and overall contentment.
Not only that, making a conscious effort to consume less reduces the clutter in our homes, and benefits the health of our environment.
3. “i am deserving” – increased sense of self-worth.
The holidays are a wonderful time of year, but they can also be filled with comparison and unrealistic expectations that rob you of the joy you’re so deserving of.
By unsubscribing from the need to buy, buy, buy, you are reminded that you have more than enough to give – just as you are. You’re reminded that your presence in someone’s life alone is a gift, and enjoying the company of others doesn’t need to be tied to any expectation other than appreciating the moment. This fills your cup and has a positive impact on your overall mental health.
4. Financial benefits.
Of course, this one is a given – spend less, and you’re helping yourself financially.
But it’s not just about saving money. It’s also about hitting pause before ‘purchase’, and taking time to consider the ‘why’ behind your spending. It allows you to be mindful of where you choose to spend your money. Maybe this means putting it toward experiences rather than material items or setting aside enough for a small donation.
Whatever it may be, spending less on frivolous things over the holidays will set you up for a great start to an abundant New Year.
5. Time – a precious commodity.
I think we can all agree – time is something we all wish we had more of. But rather than saying the all too popular phrase “if only there were more hours in the day”, switch it up and start saying “I’m so lucky to have time to…*insert something important to you”. After all – it’s not how much we have of something, it’s how we choose to use it.
So use the power of that choice to your advantage, and choose to spend less so that you can have more time to revel in the moments that matter most.
Spread Some Joy
Want some ideas on how to make the most of the holiday season while spending less on material things?
Plan activities and trips together.
Schedule a dining experience or a mani/pedi date with a friend.
Bake an apple pie or gift a nourishing soup in a mason jar.
Whatever it might be, remember that the most meaningful gifts come from the heart.
Do you have any ideas on how to have a wholesome holiday season?
Share your thoughts with us- really! We want to hear from you.
Until then, Happy Holidays, friend. You mean a lot to us in this space.