It’s that time of year again.
December has come and with it family gatherings and all Christmas celebrations.
But what is the real meaning of Christmas?
Is it the gifts under the tree, the lights all over the house, dinners with friends and family, Christmas songs everywhere and shouting “Merry Christmas” to those who are in our path? Is this really Christmas?
Christmas is a season where we celebrate LOVE, it is a time of great joy, healing and renewed strength.
The problem is that we have forgotten the real meaning of Christmas with the pass of the years.
For many people, Christmas is a time of sorrow. There is not enough money to buy presents for the family and friends, or it is not possible to have a fancy dinner.
For others, Christmas has become in a consumer-fest season, where is a must to buy the latest trends in technology, gadgets, fashion, etc, most of which isn’t really wanted or needed.
We get so consumed by the “perfect gift” that we forget what really matters, giving our time to our love ones and treasuring the moment by being fully present.
Are you ready to have a Positive Christmas?
Ok, let’s start by focusing on experiences rather than stuff.
Many studies have shown that material possessions do not equal happiness and that experiences are much socially connecting and emotionally evocative that things.
“Our experiences are a bigger part of ourselves than our material goods,” says Dr Thomas Gilovich, a psychology professor at Cornell University who has been studying the question of money and happiness for over two decades. “You can really like your material stuff. You can even think that part of your identity is connected to those things, but nonetheless they remain separate from you. In contrast, your experiences really are part of you. We are the sum total of our experiences.”
If we are the sum of our experiences, Why don’t we base our Christmas holidays on experiences?
GIFTS: Give experiences this year
Think back to your childhood. What were your favorite moments? Riding horses with your dad right before sunset? Going camping with your family or friends?, travelling to the beach and sing in the evening around a bonfire?.
Those moments are the ones that truly stay with us, and I am personally a big fan of giving experiences.
For instance, my parents enjoy nature and riding horses, therefore, some Christmas ago, I gave to my parents a family trip to “Los Llanos Orientales” (Colombian eastern plains) where they could do all what they love. I have also gave them escape weekends, romantic dates (for mom and dad), and this year will be a spa day (something which they will never do by their own).
Here are some great ideas that you can consider:
- Comedy shows and Theater Tickets.
- Escape Room.
- Music Festivals.
- Local Attraction Season Passes.
- Pick up on new hobbies such as camping, hiking, or card games.
- Skydiving. For those adventurous souls!
- Certificate to a spa or a massage.
- Plan a family vacation or other activity.
- Movie night out or in.
- Certificate for their favorite restaurant.
- Lessons for all: Swim lessons, dance lessons, cooking lessons etc.
- Gift certificate for their favorite app (ex. Headspace membership, Spotify)
- Netflix subscription
- Give to charity
Even if you’ve already purchased gifts for this year, consider adding some experiences as well or slowly transitioning to more experience-based gifts over time. The family time and memories are worth so much more than gifts, and statistically, giving experiences may help reduce your stress levels and contribute to family bonding.
Open the gift of happiness and love this Christmas
Have a blissful and happy Christmas!