Many of us have some of our fondest memories around this time of year. Ice skating around a frozen pond. Hot chocolate near a fire on a cold evening. Singing old songs with friends. Even the most cherished holidays can sometimes feel like they are devolving into an excuse for indulging in excessive spending. Looking for ways to reclaim the beauty and wonder of the season? We’ve given the topic some thought and below are 7 ways to make the holidays meaningful this year.
1. Focus on the moments that money can’t buy. Although we all know the impact of a thoughtful gift, it’s easy to lose perspective during the holiday season. In a time of year that is often overwhelming, it’s important to return to the things that bring joy into your days. Take the time to return to your hobbies. Invest in time with family and friends. If you only take away one piece of advice, carry this idea with you. The time that you invest lovingly in others and in yourself is invaluable.
2. Give Back to organizations that represent your values. It may be the oldest way imaginable of returning to your values, but giving back to your community never loses its power. If you are struggling with the consumerism of the holiday season, this is the best way to reverse the cycle. Give more and take less. Find an organization that represents your values. There is no shortage of incredible organizations that need supporters every month of the year.
3. Prioritize time together over shopping. In the age of shopping online, it’s easy to pick gifts out in mere minutes. Save the majority of your time for outings with your friends and family. Even though a child may get excited about the newest toy, they will get far more out of a day ice skating or decorating with you. Memories are the most priceless gifts.
4. Make the holidays magical for children. Children have an abundance of excitement and wonder that sometimes eludes adults. Helping keep the magic alive for children brings magic to us as well. Help your niece or nephew build a snowman for the first time. Bring your son or daughter to a holiday performance. Teach a family friend how to ski or win a snowball fight. Whatever the activity, this is a great way to make the holiday season more meaningful for those who are still at the beginning of their stories.
5. Start a new tradition. It’s never too late or too early to make something exciting into an annual tradition. Whether you choose to take a weekend trip to the mountains, go caroling through downtown, or set a time every week to see old friends for an hour, creating new traditions keeps all of us young.
6. Set boundaries for yourself. Most people find it easy to let normal boundaries fall by the wayside during the holidays. Perhaps that means unwelcome guests showing up at all hours. Maybe you find yourself staying too late at work and missing important events. Whatever you’ve lost sight of in trying to get it all done for the holidays, this is the perfect time to adjust your boundaries. Set limits for yourself with time, money, your home, and the people you love. It takes intentionality to stay healthy and balanced during the holiday season, but with boundaries, you’ll be able to enjoy the holidays without regrets.
7. Enjoy the food! Almost everywhere you turn, you’ll find advice on how to survive the holiday season without ruining your diet. Avoid the trap of counting every calorie. Enjoy every bite. Be responsible, of course, and be mindful of your health, but remember— this is the only time of year when everyone you love seems to be baking and cooking the most delicious treats.
Enjoy the season, and from everyone at Samuel Hubbard, we wish you happy holidays!