By Debra LeClair Psy.D.
1) The re-evaluation of how we celebrate the holidays has never been more open to change than it has in the last few years. Thinking of putting limits on the gift giving? Most people are thinking the same thing and would welcome the conversation. Want to scale down on your decorating? Pick 2-3 decorations that give you the most pleasure and let the rest go…you can always brings things back in the future.
2) Practical gifts seem like they will be appreciated more than ever. Consider giving: gas cards, gift cards to grocery stores or even a supply of a person’s favorite staple (coffee, green cleaning products, etc.). Gifts that help improve the immune system (baskets of favorite fruit, anything that makes exercise more fun) will also go a long way.
3) A friend says that she has instituted a personal policy that “re-gifting is ok”. She has experienced good feelings from taking gifts she wouldn’t use and matching them to more appreciative recipients. I’ve since seen this issue talked about in etiquette columns where it was also deemed ok—just be mindful to regift outside the circles from which you received the gift in the first place.
Slightly Deeper Considerations:
4) Having struggles that the gifts you purchased will not be enough? Consider what it is that makes you feel that way and then ask yourself is that thought based in reality. Think how you will feel giving the gift chosen as is, if you didn’t have that thought. Focus on that freer feeling.
5) As December begins to fly by and we move into the thick of the season, it is a great time to take note of what you really enjoy doing right now and what feels like a burden. With that you can evaluate what needs to remain part your holiday planning and traditions and what needs to go, or at least be minimized for the future.