It’s officially the new year, and all of our Christmas decorations have been put away for the year as everyone starts working (or, by this point, giving up on) their new year’s resolutions.
But before we finish packing away the holiday until next winter, I’d like to talk about it bit.
I don’t know about you, but the holidays are stressful for me. It was fun as a kid, but as an adult there’s a whole lot of questions to be asked each season:
- who should I buy for?
- how much should I spend on each person?
- what should I ask for? As an adult I can generally purchase any small item that I want and the big things I’m saving up for are much more expensive than what I could ask for from someone else. But asking for cash toward those big goals seems crass.
- what should I get for other adults, since they’re generally in the same boat?
- how do I deal with the discomfort from one person spending obviously a lot more than another?
There’s so much focus on the presents, shopping for said presents, and cleaning up afterward that it’s hard to really enjoy the season of spending time with those I care about.
This year I felt both ends of the discomfort spectrum; on one hand, I got some small things from one person that I don’t need, or even necessarily want, but would feel guilty giving away. So they’ll sit around and gather dust. On the other hand, The Geek’s parents were ridiculously generous and gave their kids and me an iPad mini, but I hadn’t realized I was supposed to buy them anything. So the present is very functional and appreciated, but I feel tension since they spent so much money on me.
I’d thought before that maybe it was just me that is frustrated by how we do holidays since I’ve had some unfortunate experiences around gift giving, but I’m noticing that there’s a growing conversation about how we can change to have a simpler, less stressful Christmas that doesn’t suck the life out of you by the middle of December.
With a small amount of personal experience and what I’ve gathered from reading lots of blogs, here’s the some advice for an easier Christmas: