Sunday, December 15, 2013

Merry Christmas to me...

The post Thanksgiving shopping binge has kicked off.  Did you pick yourself up something nice on Black Friday?  I hope you did.

Several years ago at our family Christmas, I (somewhat jokingly and somewhat not) suggested that instead of exchanging gifts each year, we should discontinue the practice and everybody should just buy themselves something nice and then at the get together we can all tell each other what we got.  Well this idea didn't exactly take off, but I'm pleased to report that we did restore some sanity to the madness and all agreed to limit gifting to buying gifts for the kids only.  I'm also pleased to report that since we've instituted the practice our Christmas joy has not diminished...

...which brings me back to the original proposal - would it be so bad for everyone to focus on gifting themselves?   After all, this would eliminate much wasted money on gifts that aren't appreciated and the extra effort of returning those that you are able to return.  Also, because your funds are not spread out among spending for many, you can put them to good use getting a quality gift.  Additionally, there would be no need to bust the budget; you can give yourself what you can afford.  The gift doesn't need to be an object, you can give yourself some of your own time - that's right make a commitment to use some of your time for something you want to do...what a novel idea!

Now I hear the indignant self righteous already amassing to spew the party line that this is the season of giving so let's examine that thought.  When does the "season of giving" start?  When does it end?  Most of all I wonder, why should "giving" be considered seasonal?

Reflecting over the past year, I feel as I have given plenty.  I consider both my time and resources much of which is committed to others on a regular basis.  I suspect there are many in the same boat.  Ask a parent how much time is "me" time as compared to the time they spend caring for their children or whether the priority for their weekly check is to purchase something for themselves or whether it is to provide for their children.  Similarly, there are caregivers in many different capacities, "giving" year round.

Just as you need to ensure food and shelter before getting to self actualization, I firmly believe that before you can get to "you're ok," you need to insure that "I'm ok".  To love others, you must be able to love yourself.  So my message this holiday season is to be good to yourself.  Merry Christmas to me.

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