It’s almost Christmas and I have to admit, I’ve been too busy to actually notice. I’ve been busy at work, home and everywhere in between. It feels a little weird and I can’t seem to get into the season’s spirit. Instead of being joyful, the season feels more stressful. I remember when I finally got around Christmas shopping with my brother. The mall is a disaster this time of year. The roads are crammed and feel like it’s rush hour; finding parking is almost impossible and when you get to the mall, you’re not even sure exactly what you’re looking for. Instead of feeling jolly and festive, it feels more of a chore. I feel like I got caught up with preparing for the season that I actually forgot to enjoy it myself.
I grew up in a small farm where we didn’t have much. We didn’t have fancy christmas trees decorated with bright lights. The closest thing we had to a mall was the wet market downtown. We didn’t have the latest and most advanced gadgets but I remember celebrating the holidays back there; everybody was warm and a lot more enjoyable to be around. Because we didn’t have the luxury of many external things, we relied more on what actually mattered. I remember the best holidays that I’ve had were abundant with laughters and memories with my family and closest friends. The joy that I felt was more sincere and fulfilling. The value exchange was more internal and long lasting compared to any material things.
Be self aware and put things into perspective. This season is a time to get together and enjoy the company of people that mean a lot to you. Christmas doesn’t have to be worldly-minded and commercialized. Be imaginative. Think about alternatives and a different approach for celebrating the holidays. At the end of the day, it’s not about how much money you can spend on expensive things; it’s about how personal and creative you can be. Be assertive at knowing other’s perception of value then find out what the most meaningful gift would be. Most of us have too many “things” in our lives anyway. Having more is not necessarily a bad thing but how do you make the season a lot more memorable? The best gifts I’ve received are usually things not bought from a store. I personally would rather get something they made with a heart felt hand written letter. Your words, thoughts and effort could mean so much more than anything they offer in the mall.
Despite the business of the season, slow down and take a deep breath. Remember what this time of the year really means. Don’t lose sight of what actually matters. You can always earn the money back but time wasted is gone for good. Put more effort into creating memories and building relationships, not in just buying the newest gadgets. At the end of the day, that’s what really matters more than what money could buy.