If you’ve ever wanted to flip off anything or anyone directly related to Christmas, flipping Christmas may be just what you need. Put the brakes on the old way of doing things that turned the supposed merry season into the season of hellish stress. We don’t have to play along with the high-powered commercialism surrounding Christmas. We can play by our own rules, even establishing brand new family traditions. Not everyone will necessarily understand, but that’s okay. Simplify Christmas and it will likely rub off on more people than it ticks off. If enough of us refuse to buy into the hype, perhaps we really could change the parts of the “most joyous season of the year” that really suck.
Creative Gift Exchanges
The financial crunch that gift-buying puts on many of us is just ridiculous. We shouldn’t have to dig a deep well of debt just to get through the holidays. The chances are very good that a lot of people in your life could use some changes in traditions, to cut costs. One of the strategies for cutting down on buying is to have a gift exchange in which hopefully everyone at the gift party ends up with a great present. Truth is, one or two people usually end up with something that seems to be from a dollar store, like a decorated pine cone, and another one or two end up with the enviable gifts that everyone else hoped to end up with, like an iPad or awesome Bluetooth speaker. But in the end, having to buy only one gift instead of 5, 15, or 20 is a win for everyone. Another version of this strategy is to require a minimum value and have everyone bring a gift card to exchange. This way, no one gets totally ripped off.
Memories, not Monies
If your Christmas transition involves cutting down on the number of presents under the tree, replace the lost package opening with a lifetime of memories. In addition to opening an advent calendar throughout December, to savor the meaning of Christmas, create a calendar of family memories. Every day in December, do something out of the ordinary that strengthens family relationships. You could even prepare for the month of excitement by having everyone write down ideas for family activities, with parents helping the children to ensure the plan will work. Then have daily drawings in December, to determine the activity of the day. Make sure the activities can be done utilizing supplies on hand, with no money needing to be spent, if cost cutting is a priority.
Enjoy the holiday season! And, yes, in the U.S., it starts the day after Halloween! Wear your ugly Christmas sweater or buy this cute fake knit elf t-shirt. Christmas can be enjoyed, but sometimes it requires strategy and determination.