"Christmas is the season when you buy this year's gifts with next year's money."
Are you ready for the most audacious, outrageous holiday tip? It’s not about the best temperature to bake a roast or how not to yell at your mother in law even when you want to. It’s not about what shoes are best to wear as you beat the streets for stocking stuffers and it’s definitely not how to stay slim in the middle of endless holiday party temptations. But it may just help you have this be the most love and delight-filled holiday season yet.
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This time of the year has always mystified me. The intent is a beautiful one: 'tis the season of love and giving, after all. Yet the actuality is a far cry from the intent: it ends up being mostly about giving and getting a bunch of stuff no one really wants or needs, out of obligation, and running ourselves ragged – and getting into scary debt – in the process. There’s mostly no love for what we give, what we get, or how we acquire, give or receive it.
Now, it would be wonderful if there were a ton o’ love in the things being bought or got, but for the most part, there's not.
OK, it’s true, I was raised Jewish/Buddhist/New Age and the consumerist craze never lodged in my developing heart. One year I did manage to convince my parents to get a Christmas tree, although what turned up was a branch, since they didn’t want to sacrifice the whole tree.
Before you accuse me of Scroogitis around the holidays, don’t forget that it’s the time of year that suicide rates go up, we over-eat, under-sleep, get stressed out, gain weight and burn the candle at both ends. Despite our country's economic recession, we remain the land of plenty. How much more of what we don't want in the first place do we really need? All I'm saying is maybe we could peek behind the curtain of this culturally sanctioned sadness and madness, masquerading as gladness, and alter it all just a little bit.
Instead of RE-GIFTING all those gifts you'll be getting that you didn't want in the first place, consider DE-GIFTING. Don't know what to get that special person? Don't get them anything at all. Blame it on Rudolf.
Imagine: no gifts given or gotten, aside from the ones that truly mean something, are truly desired, or you are moved and inspired to give.
So, this holiday season, consider one way you could DE-GIFT:
1. Don't buy any gifts unless the person you are buying them for truly DESIRES them.
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2. Let your friends and family (and office peeps) know that you don't want any gifts unless they are truly INSPIRED give them to you.
3. Pay it forward. Instead of reciprocally giving a gift to someone who’s given one to you, pay forward some magical deed to someone more in need than you.