At this time of year many of us turn our attention to what we don’t have rather than what we do ‑ and for good reason!  The season of non-stop shopping has arrived.  With Thanksgiving well behind us, we are now in the midst of the race to get ready for the next big holiday.  Many have already forgotten the season of thankfulness, as we find ourselves smack dab in the midst of the frenetic days of looking, finding ordering, and buying.  We have swung from celebrating gratitude to experiencing the overwhelming drive to satisfy needs, wants and desires.

Before you head to the mall this weekend, take a moment to breathe and not only count your blessings, but to take a few moments to really focus on them.  Your money may be destined to buy a lot in the next few weeks.  For some, however, there just might not be as much money to go around this year as in the past.  This deficiency can create angst and feelings of lack and limitation.

Yet if you stop and reflect on money, and what is truly important, you will begin to realize that money can’t buy the gifts that count the most:  good health, loving relationships, close family ties, caring friends and community, the fulfillment of creative expression, and inner peace.  It’s too easy to forget their importance, not because we are ungrateful, but because we simply get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life and the worries of not having enough.  In reality there just isn’t enough money, nor will there ever be, to fill the deep need within all of us for acceptance, love, and connection. Those things can’t be bought at any price!

Why not make a commitment to do the holidays differently this year?  I know it is good for the economy for consumers to rush around spending money. Few of us, however, really need more STUFF!  Most of our closets, drawers and garages are already stuffed with THINGS!  The storage industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the country.  And it only takes an hour to open all the presents that we devoted time, thought, and effort, not to mention all the money, in purchasing during this four week holiday spending spree.

Why not scale down the Holiday spending splurge? Instead, try holding on to the Thanksgiving feelings of gratitude a bit longer by generously reaching out to those around you with feelings of well-being, tolerance and compassion.  Did you know that it takes fewer facial muscles to smile than to frown?  So why not practice smiling more, being kinder, gentler and more patient?  Instead of getting caught up in the holiday rush, reach out to others, take time to re-connect with a friend, an acquaintance, or relative that has drifted away.  Or reflect on how you can enrich your relationships with quality time ‑ truly sharing and caring.

Susie Norman was once asked if they should go into their emergency reserves this year to buy Christmas gifts so their kids wouldn’t have to go without.  She said absolutely not!!!!!  She recommended going for a long Holiday walk, have a pot luck gathering with friends and family, gather with others to sing Christmas carols, or invite a few dear friends over for a cup of holiday tea and cookies.  Debt is never a healthy nostalgic memory to associate with Christmas. Closeness, connection and being together with those we care about is!

This Holiday Season spend less time rushing and buying and doing, and make an effort to be more present and mindful of what is truly important.  This Holiday Season give the gifts that money can’t buy – understanding, connection, caring, love, and peace.

If you find you are struggling during this Holiday Season then reach out to Joy to find out how you can make this a meaning and special time for yourself. Call or text 415-819-8769 or email Joy.

Happy Holidays

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