Blow Out That Holiday Light Canon: by Erin Cummings
Is anyone else just totally over it this year for the Holidays? Or are you on it?
I want to be 100% real, I think Christmas is totally lame. I am a complete and total Grinch on the inside and on the outside I am the next door neighbor in my hot Christmas dress using a canon to blow Christmas Lights onto my house (if you haven’t seen the Jim Carrey version of The Grinch, it’s hilarious).
To me, Christmas is totally overdone and it’s one of things I feel the need to “keep up” with. More presents the better parent you are, the perfectly placed ornament on your fake, but looks real, but is still messy so people think it’s real, but know it’s fake tree, the better decorator you are. The bigger, the fuller, the higher your tree is, the more money you have.
In my experience of the past few years, the Holiday Season is CHAOS. It is people getting pissed they can’t find a gift, the over excessiveness of Holiday Parties and outfits (hi, me. God forbid I wear the same Jimmy Choo’s twice). New holiday party ideas needed. Everything has been more more more, new new new, and we wonder why people get so burnout and depressed during the Holiday season.
Since I’m an entrepreneur I follow a ton of business blogs, podcasts, books, and all things I can learn how to make my business and self better. The past year has been all about creating “an experiential retail experience” for a ton of companies. Not only do you need to have a good product or service, you need to create a memorable experience, in a memorable location, using memorable advertising, and it needs to all fit together to tell a story that creates an experience for the client to remember….
That all is said because now, it’s all about the “experiential gifts.” No more giving someone a bottle of wine, you need to gift them an experience. Wine with salts for cooking, a 3-d puzzle with charcuterie, because we all know that puzzle is going to last forever so it better come with a snack. It’s not about the item, it’s about creating an experience for the person you are gifting the item too. So much so people are now trying to figure out how to gift stuff like vacations, paint ball classes, horse shoe tying lessons, and an all new way to stress and be a better gift giver.
So now what…..
My idea, let’s take a step sideways. Not back, not forward. Let’s step to the side and let all the chaos run until it fizzles.
This year we have the time to plan to create purpose to get present and say “okay, how can I recreate this Holiday for THIS YEAR?”
This year is different, and before you say “yeah I know,” don’t forget you don’t have to make this year be the same as last year. Honestly why would you want to? I don’t want to be anywhere near the chaos of those first couple of paragraphs up there. And, if you are like me, and you normally completely hate it, how can you jump out of the chaos line and into the “how can I make this create joy for me” line?
First, make a pact with your family. Presents, no presents, send a group text and decide. There are still 11 million people unemployed and I’m guessing you probably have one of those people as a family member. Take the pressure off the extravagant gift spending and opt for no gifts. Also, if you decided as a group to do this, hold people accountable. Dear Aunt Sally, we said no gifts. If Aunt Sally still is mad, then that’s on her. You can decide what to do with the gift if she gives you one.
Second, many of those unemployed people are women who had to opt out of going back to work to help out at home. So if you are a stressed out mom and if you are worried about immediate family gifts, go for the 4 essential items. A few years ago my sister in law told me about something thing she read when it came to gift giving so you don’t get lost in the craziness of gift giving stress. You can get your kids 4 gifts: 1) Something you wear, 2) something you read, 3) something you want, and 4) something you need. Honestly this 4 gift rule can apply to birthdays, holidays, anything.
Take that a step further if you need financial help or assistance. If you can get one of those four, then if a few people in your family insist on gift giving have them grab one of the other 3. If you don’t need financial assistance and you are good… BE the person to give one of those gifts. Instead of a group text reach out, ask “how can I support you and your family this Holiday season?”
Before you rush into a panic about the Holidays, step to the side and seriously ask yourself 3 things:
- What can I do to bring myself joy?
- What is my intention this Holiday Season when giving gifts?
- Where do I need help OR Where can I support others?
Get prepared and make a plan. If you find yourself getting stressed out, step to the side let the chaos run ahead and ask yourself those questions again, and repeat.