The older I get the less I want to do for Christmas. I am tired of the material possessions that we find under a tree and that comes in the form of credit card debt. I am more for the memories. I want to spend time and not money on my friends and family. I recently saw a list of Holiday To Do’s crossed off with some better ideas. I have taken that list and added some more of mine.
Buy Be Presents: I saw a post by a mom who counted how many times her kids looked at her while she was sitting on the floor while they played. They looked at her over 20 times. If she had been looking at her phone, she would have missed those 20 glances from her kids. With technology at our fingertips, literally, we need to be even more aware of when we should put it down and power down. Leave your phone in another room while you are home with your children. Turn your phone off when having coffee with a friend. Unless you are on-call for a job or expecting word from someone in the hospital, checking that constant dinging on your phone is not important. Build that blanket fort. Make that craft. Read that story. Have that cup of hot chocolate.
Wrap Gifts Someone In A Hug: If I have to spend more than 30 minutes wrapping all my gifts, that is too much time. I am not a gift wrapping ninja, my husband is. But even then, I don’t want to spend hours wrapping gifts. I would rather spend that time giving people a hug. I challenge you to spend as much time hugging this holiday season as you do wrapping gifts. Now don’t be hugging the wrong person as that could land you in jail. But hug the right people. And make sure it is a real hug. I define a real hug as two hearts touching. You know it when you receive one. They are magical.
Send Gifts Peace: Instead of standing in line at the post office mailing out packages at the last minute, what if you were to mail letters to our service men and women as well as wounded soldiers? In the past The Red Cross has taken care of distributing these cards. Contact your local Red Cross for events in your community and send some wishes of peace and thank a soldier.
Shop For Donate Food: If you are one of those families who goes all out and have lobster and crab, keep track of what you spend and match it with a donation to the food pantry. I promise your Christmas meal will taste so much better knowing that you provided for many local families for their holiday meal.
Make Wish List Memories: Teach your children that this is not the time to receive, but to give. Simple gifts are best. Please don’t be that parent where Santa brings the hot expensive electronic gadget of the season. Put something that will make memories like matching socks in the stockings. One year I wrote a handwritten note to all my family members telling them what they meant to me. Please note that my children can no longer read cursive writing and so I had to read them the letters. However this added to the memory.
See Be The Lights: I always like to look for opportunities to be a light in someone’s life. I don’t like to make a big deal of it and point the finger at myself. Rather I like to be stealth. But one thing I did last year that still makes me feel good was my grocery shopping experience Christmas Eve day. As I was shopping for Christmas Eve food I kept making eye contact with an older woman. She was pushing a small cart and she just had a box of crackers in the cart. She kept going up and down the aisles not adding anything to her cart. I went to the service counter and bought a grocery store gift card. I asked the service counter employee to go and give it to the woman and tell her it was from a friend. The worker came back with tears and her eyes, I had tears in mine too. That felt good.
So I challenge you to mix up your holiday to do list this year. Make it about the memories and the people and not so much as the gifts and the debt. Start your to-do list this week with new intentions.
To Joyful, Simplified Organizing,
Melissa is a Productivity Consultant living in Fargo, North Dakota doing her best of living a life full of adventure. Filling a life of memories and not of things!