Before the crash of 2008, we had years where ‘D’ received generous holiday bonuses, sometimes even twice a year. When the construction industry came to a screaming halt, that all ended. We ended up having to walk away from our home at that time as did so many other people in the country, and we were faced with a Christmas that looked completely different financially than the years before. And you know what? It was better. No seriously, clichés aside, not having an excess of cash was actually liberating.
It’s strange how paradoxical life can be at times. It would make sense in our minds that the more pennies you have in your bank account the happier you will be. Truly, I have found this time and again not to be the case. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that if one does not have the means to feed their family or pay the bills they are better off. That’s ridiculous, and were I to make such a claim you could firmly declare that ‘The cheese done’ slipped off my cracka’. No, I am talking about having to be creative and prioritize in the face of a lack of excess. There was less pressure to ‘buy’ that year and limits were put on wish lists. The boys were given an amount we were able to spend on gifts and adjusted their lists in accordance with that. It worked out so well, that even in the improving years we stuck to those guidelines. The focus of Christmas shifted from how many presents were under the tree, to finding the one or two gifts that had meaning and thought behind them.
This is why I love giving and receiving hand made presents. No one takes the time and energy to craft you something awesome if you are not dear to them. I have a friend who makes the best gifts, and I look with anticipation every year to see what she will come up with. Last year she showed up on Christmas afternoon with what was probably one of the coolest things I have ever been given. Here it is proudly occupying center stage on my dining table: (make one yourself!)
Tips For Practicing ‘Self-Care’ During The Holidays ~
- Carve out time at night to take really hot wonderful baths with delicious smelling holiday themed bath bubbles (buy them for you too, not just as gift for others)~
- Eat 90/10: 90% healthy whole foods and 10% wondrous delectable holiday ‘tasties’ (it will be worth it to your emotional and physical state to not gain the obligatory 10lbs Oct-Dec~
- Make the time to sit quietly alone with the lights dimmed, the tree lights on, and your favorite Christmas music playing in the back round while you relax and take a ‘break’ from it all~
*Photo courtesy of Julep*