Ahh Christmas time! The time of year where we deck the townhouse and sing Oh Despacito! Tiny tots their eyes are all aglow with Minecraft they find it hard to sleep because of Fortnite. We were invited over to our friend’s house for dinner and talked for hours about the kids and how they’re super spoiled during Christmas. Kids are in love with toys on t.v. and we agreed that toy companies brilliantly market their products. They’ve innovated older model toys into something that can shift their shapes or make new noises and light up but they’re still fundamentally the same. My friend said she asked her family to give her child previously used toys in an effort to make less of a carbon footprint. How wonderful and what a great idea! Her clever thought never materialized because that’s not the Christmas spirit. The modern-day Christmas has become a marketers mandate to increase sales in order to generate greater quarterly earnings. It’s effective and hard to break traditions of opening our wallets year after year. We shouldn’t let our economic ability to buy new toys be the driving force of Christmas. The loss of income should not be the reason entire families consider buying less. Here are three ways we can change the way we practice Christmas traditions.
Finding ways to make positive memories and traditions can fill the corners of our minds over the holidays. It takes practice and planning but once we get into the moment, again and again, it eventually becomes second nature. It’s the simple ways we do things that become popular amongst family and friends. Hanging Mistletoe is a time-honored tradition that has been handed down through the ages. It’s romantic and adds fun to a holiday where food and gifts take center stage. Family Games like “Find the pickle” is played when a pickle-shaped ornament is hidden somewhere on the Xmas tree, the person who finds it gets an extra present (maybe it’s a chocolate or a Christmas cookie) or Elf on the shelf which is a children’s game where the elf observes the family through the day and reports back to Santa Clause when the kids go to bed otherwise to return the next morning in a different spot. Kids are on their best behavior and it becomes a game of hide and seek for the entire month of December.
To change up Christmas means that habits have to change by using our imagination, which for some people can be difficult. We have to challenge ideas and assumptions, break down problems and figure out creative solutions to boredom at Christmas time. The gift of a thrilling or humbling experience could be the best way to avoid giving the kids to many gifts. This will help families build meaningful connections with one another. Going through the motions of making alternate or opposite plans will greatly reduce stress from the usual traditions. Some cities that celebrate Christmas like no other include New York, U.S.A, Bethlehem, Westbank, Bondi Beach Australia, and Dublin, Ireland.
Set a small budget for gifts and allow older children to pick a category like something they want, need, wear or read. Choose family memberships to theme parks, Museums, Recreation Centers. Consider a DIY gift for family members there are a lot of great ideas to be found on Pinterest or Instagram. Making gifts can start a great tradition that some family members won’t be able to resist because it’s fun and creative and another good way to make lasting memories. Reducing the amount we give is the best way to alleviate our financial, emotional stress. Practicality, imagination and re-evaluating the purpose of Christmas will make a huge difference in our happiness throughout the year.
What needs to happen to shift the paradigm of Christmas? When do we stop throwing toys away from Christmas past and start handing them over to the next generation? We can’t expect the industries to make a change unless we shift our perspective as a collective. The moral of the story here is BUY LESS. The timeless tale of the Christmas Carol nails it on the moral head. Christmas should be the time of year where everybody should be happy. Gifts aren’t the only things that make us happy. I can name a few things off the top of my head such as babies, love, adventure, a good book, delicious food, a show at the Colosseum. Let’s get creative instead of hitting the Mall.