Here are just a few ways I’ve used our values to figure out options for an alternative Christmas this year:
No gifts from us, (they get plenty of gifts from extended family) and instead taking a 3 or 4 day trip somewhere. We could keep costs down by doing a home-exchange.
One gift from us – something they really, really want.
Following the four gift rule: Something you want, something you need, something to wear and something to read.
Having extended family help out with the four gifts – being really intentional about how much stuff is being consumed.
Having discussions about what the kids really want from the holiday season. Figuring out what they love the most about Christmas.
The functionally beautiful part of this commitment (remaining integrated and aligning our finances with our values) is that I regain control of my money. Instead of feeding the beast of consumption, obeying the voice of comparison and scarcity, I get to put my money where I want it to go, and I get to do it in a way that doesn’t bend (or break) me or my budget. It’s an approach to living that gives me a voice and space to be true to who I am.
I know… I’m likely going to have some disappointed kids this year. But that’s my fault and I totally plan to own up to it. We’ll need to have a good talk with them about how and why we’re changing the game; why were opting out of the game altogether. And, I owe them an apology for not being able to resist the pull of consumption!
That discussion will likely need to happen multiple times over the next couple of months, because, honestly, whose kids listen and totally get it the first time around. Not mine. Mostly it’s wiggle time and “can I go to the bathroom” over and over and OVER. #amiright?!
Will you take this oath with me today? Right now?
Living from your values and being true to what is best for your family, even if it goes against the traditional American Christmas celebration, is going to lead to a holiday focused on love, generosity and light. And, it will also keep you from going deeply into debt and then having serious regret come January.
Let’s do this together! I’d love to have some friends on this journey! If you’d like to get my FREE “Defining Your Values” Workbook to start figuring out how to make this holiday season specific to you and your family – click HERE!
P.S. Here are a few journal prompts to get the discussion going with yourself about beginning to question your money habits with the holiday season:
1 – How much did you spend last Christmas? – If you have access to your bank or credit card statements I’d encourage you to look back and really calculate that number.
2 -What did you and your family receive – really RECEIVE – from all that spending?
3 -Does that number feel good? Do you want to spend that much again?
4 -What is the maximum amount you can afford for this holiday season?
5 -What would your ideal holiday include?
6 -What are some action steps to working towards your ideal holiday season and keeping it within YOUR budget?