Thursday, December 18, 2014

Gift Giving: The Stress, The Effort, The Season of Giving

The holiday season is typically filled with so many positive feelings. For some though, the thought of their "dysfunctional family" getting together, having to buy gifts, sign cards, wrap presents, and potentionally travel many miles seems like an absolute nightmare.

I understand where they are coming from with the whole wrapping of the gifts piece, not my strength and never will be, I have accepted this reality of mine and my sisters have driven home the point many times. Understandably, the holidays can be a stressful time. For this reason I want to provide you with a small piece of advice while taking on one aspect of the holidays, gift giving. 

How the hell are you supposed to know exactly what to get your wife, children, significant other, or any family member for that matter when they either provide you with a "60 item list" or say "it's the thought that counts". Either scenario leaves you in a precarious spot of wondering, stressing, and wishing someone else could do this for you. Fear not though!

 I am hear to give you some advice on how to make gift giving a little easier for you this holiday.

First, remember what you are doing in the first place. You are giving! A selfless act that is done for somebody else without the expectation of reciprocation. Remind yourself that the overall act of giving a gift is positive, selfless, and appreciated one (although sometimes it may not seem that way!). 

Here are a couple rules to follow (some from personal experience and others just rules)

1. Put effort into your card and wrapping.
This point is even more true when gifting for females. They care just as much about what's in the card and the efforts put into wrapping as they do the present. Stay honest and genuine with your words.

2. Stay within your means.
Listen, I understand you may be a "people pleaser" or the whole nature of the holidays has put you in a generous mood, but set a budget and stay to it. Sometimes this can be a fun challenge for a couple. My wife and I for the holidays cap it off at $100, which for some may be a lot and for others not, but regardless it forces you to get creative while keeping that urge to overspend in check.

3. Gifts aren't everything.
Believe it or not your material things that you own (house, car, electronics..etc) can only account for 10% of your happiness. The other 90% is how you react to these things. People, including you, place the meaning in the gifts, the words you share in your card, and the time you choose to spend with loved ones. Choose wisely, communicate genuinely, and stay in the moment. 

Well, you may still be stressed moving forward into the holiday, but before giving up on it, try at least one of the pieces of advice out for size. Works for me, and for many other people. Join the population of individuals that actually look forward to this season of giving and drown out (at least temporarily) your inner Scrooge.


No comments: