A friend sent me a great TED Talk video that addresses about something I am rather dedicated to in my life, and that wouldn't hurt for others to consider too:
I find this especially relevant during this Christmas season.
I understand this is a time that many people can go above and beyond their means to purchase things for family and friends believing that it is the only/ultimate way to express their love for them. It is a true reality that people will go into the red while funding their "holiday shopping".
That is why I have adopted a "$100 Christmas" goal for our family these past couple of years (last mentioned here). Excluding the occasional mandatory travel costs, I give myself a $100 limit for all things gift related (items + sending costs). This plan has several benefits including: less stress, kinder environmental choices, decluttering our homes and those of our loved ones, focusing on "presence" over "presents", and putting our money toward more productive goals -- for us it's the education of our children; a gift that truly keeps on giving ;).
As I have repeated a couple of times on my blog, I hope to instill in my own children the understanding that Christmas is not a time of gluttonous consumption. Rather, it's about looking out for others. Expressing our love for others with every stitch we knit, every bow we tie, and every cookie we bake. The time and presence it takes to work on these crafty Christmas projects is spent joyously as a family, honing our skills or learning new ones, and always with our dear ones in the forefront of our minds.
So even if our gifts may be small, they are bursting with love for the recipients and are meant to be something of real use to them. I try to avoid knicknacks that simply clog shelves, and instead aim for something that could get ample use -- hopefully daily! Maybe that's just because that's what I prefer in the objects in my life :)
Anyway, I think that's enough preaching from my soapbox.
I'll get down now, and hope that you have time to watch this inspirational video.
And maybe try the $100 Christmas challenge too.
See if it lightens the load of financial strain, motivates you to revisit an old skill or pick up a new one, and shifts the focus of the season from buying/consuming to making/giving! ;)
Until next time, take care and Happy Videos!!