Christmas – it’s only good if it’s excessive. That’s the subtle and sometimes not-so-subtle message of all Christmas advertising. The Christmas tree with an enormous pile of presents underneath. The table laden with every type of Christmas food, traditional and contemporary. The pictures of houses saturated in Christmas lights. (Or else a restrained, subtle, stylish, and uber-expensive look. Driftwood? Costs a fortune, dahling!)
In the last couple of days I’ve experienced the excess of Christmas in three different ways:
One of my clients was explaining how she always went overboard in buying presents for her children. “I know what I do. I buy things for them, and then part of me thinks, “I need to get more! And I do, and it’s not until Christmas day that I realise that there’s actually too much.”
Tip 1: Resolve never to go shopping for gifts without a list. Record what you’ve already bought and how much you’ve spent. Refer to these lists whenever the “OMG, I need more!” feeling hits. Chances are, you don’t.
I was mentally planning Christmas Eve dinner with one branch of our family - a turkey roulade, ice-cream Christmas pudding, they can bring the salads and drinks. Then I thought, “Is it enough? Should we do a barbeque as well with sausages and chicken wings? Roast potatoes? Maybe I should also do another dessert…”
Tip 2: Ask yourself: Do I have the time, energy and money to buy and prepare food that will only be partially eaten? Would I prepare this amount of food for any other family meal? What are a few small things I can do to make the Christmas meal special without going overboard?
I was walking through a department store, and their Christmas decorations display caught my eye. I stopped for a look, and began wondering, “Should I buy some more? I love this stuff! But does it fit with what we already have? What do we already have? I don’t really remember. But I want to buy something – it’s all so beautiful!”
Tip 3: It’s almost impossible to think straight in the store itself. The entire environment has been carefully planned to make you want to buy, buy, buy! If you’re considering buying something on impulse, but part of you thinks it’s not such a good idea, then go outside the store to make your decision. It’s possible to think clearly outside, and you can always go right back in if your clear thinking tells you it is a good idea. But most often, outside the store the urge to buy, buy, buy just melts away.
I’ve had Christmases in the past with too many presents, too much food and no room to move thanks to the excessive decorations. They’re not as much fun as the advertisements say they will be. This year I want a Christmas of celebration, fun, friends and family. I want a Christmas that has enough, but doesn’t deplete me emotionally, energetically or financially.
If that sounds like the sort of Christmas you want too, and you want more detailed information than three quick tips, then download the Christmas planner. It will help you figure out what you need to make your Christmas magical, without going overboard. From excessive, to enough.