I do enjoy the holiday season. I like the putting up the tree, and I enjoy spending time with family, and I like that winter is falling, and that I want to be safe and comfortable in my home. However, one of the things that really bothers me about the holiday season is the consumerism.
There’s so much shopping and buying, and there seems to be a lot of waste. There seems to be a great deal of focus on things, rather than on people, and on strengthening the relationships that matter in life. It’s easy to get swept up in the consumerism. However, with a little conscientiousness, it’s possible to reduce the consumerism in your life.
Re-Establish Your Priorities
There is something about the holiday season that encourages you to throw out the principles that govern you the rest of the year. It’s easy to go over budget. To buy more stuff than you normally would. To relax a little on your standards of sustainability. This is because the novelty of the season tends to lead us to forget our priorities. Everything — from schedules to schoolwork to careers — is a little out of whack.
This is a good time to take a step back and re-establish your priorities. You can still have a good holiday season when you remember your priorities. Indeed, your holiday season can be even better when you remember your priorities. Stop and think about what’s most important to you. Your friends and family, your health, and the environment, are more important than stuff. Remind yourself of that, and it will be easier to detach yourself from the rampant consumerism around you.
Limit What You Plan to Buy
Examine each item on your holiday shopping list. Why do you want to purchase it? Do you really need it? Will it really enhance your life and increase your enjoyment this holiday season? Do you really need to purchase an expensive gift for everyone on your list? Could you make items that are more personal and unique, but less costly?
Think about what you are buying and why you are buying it. A little introspection can go a long way. Then, limit your list. Cross of items on your holiday shopping list without buying them. Make an effort to turn to things that don’t require a huge bank account. Focus on the things you can’t buy in your life, and how much happier they make you, and you will spend less, and probably feel more fulfilled.
One of the best ways to avoid letting consumerism take over your holiday season is to serve others. Helping others is one of the best ways take your mind off you. When you perform service for others, it’s hard to think about what you want — especially when you are thinking about those who are less fortunate. Consider how you can help someone else, and you will find yourself less focused on material things. Make it a family service project. Go to the soup kitchen. Take items to the homeless shelter. Look for ways to help others as a family, and you will build good memories that have nothing to do with consumerism.