With Christmas fast approaching, many people are wondering how they’re going to fund the festivities.
If they have the point of view that Christmas is meant to be the “the best day of the year,” the pressure that gets created often leads to spending crazy amounts of money on “perfect” gifts, dinner parties, and expensive trips.
But why? Who said that all of this is required? Who set the expectations, and perhaps more importantly, for what reason would we continue to follow them?
Last year, I spent Christmas on my own, by choice, just to see what it was like. I went for a run, swam in the ocean, read books, cooked, even worked on a fun project. It was such a moment where I got to be truly vulnerable with myself and not buy into any of the thoughts, feelings, or emotions other people have about what you have to be doing on Christmas. It was such a good day!
What if you gave yourself permission to let go of the many holiday expectations and rather than succumbing to what you think you should do, you ask yourself, “What does Christmas really mean to me?”
When you ask this question you may discover that expensive presents and activities are no longer a priority. If you made Christmas about the joy you could have with yourself and your body, you might realize that the celebration of Christmas has absolutely nothing to do with money.
Believing that you are required to spend a lot of money at Christmas is missing the point. You can rediscover all of the joy of Christmas without overspending at all.
Here are three simple actionable steps you can take this holiday season:
1. Get Creative
Presents don’t need to be store bought. Use your imagination. Why not gift someone some homemade oat brownies or off-cuts from your favorite plants. You could also make a nice meal and invite people over. Or offer a foot massage or bring ingredients to someone’s house and make them yummy cocktails. Do something different. They will appreciate the creativity and thoughtfulness—likely more than a store bought gift.
2. Be Grateful for Yourself and What You Do Have
Instead of looking at what you don’t have, choose to be grateful for yourself and what you do have. If you spend your entire life looking at what you don’t have and overspending to try and obtain it, that is the reality you will create. Start a gratitude journal. Daily add to it. When you actively choose gratitude, the abundance of the gifts that are already in your world become crystal clear and more begin to show up.
3. Ten Cents of Every Dollar Goes to You
If you choose to look at the scarcity of money, you will create more scarcity. Or, you can choose something else. It truly is that simple. A pragmatic tool that you can use throughout the year is to put aside 10 cents from every dollar that you earn. This money is just for you. It is a way of honoring yourself. Never spend it. Watch it grow.
This tool dynamically contributed to getting me out of $187,000 of debt and into financial wealth. It can be hard to set money aside when you are in debt or when you need it for other things, but if you choose to practice this, you will alter your financial mindset. You will watch the money growing in your bank account and start to have a sense of abundance. This is not logical, but money is not “logical.” When you are willing to honor yourself in this way, you are sending out an invitation for more money to show up.
People often think that if they have enough money, they will be happy. This point of view carries over to the holidays. “If I spend enough money on the right things, everyone will be happy.” This is backwards! Money follows joy. Joy does not follow money.
Choose joy this holiday season. Choose joy throughout the year. Be grateful for yourself and your body. Honor yourself by setting aside 10 percent of every dollar. Rediscover just how much joy is possible.