When we talk about the holiday season, our minds can think one of two things. It’s either about the “goodwill to all men side” of things, which we try to make the most of when we’re nurturing our kids, or the other side is all partying, all of the time. When we get into the mindset of the latter, it can be difficult to escape from. We all feel that January hangover from a month of overdoing it. But as parents, can we find a way to enjoy the trappings of the holiday season without falling into the trappings?
The Odd Tipple (Or Three)
Christmas is a season for us to let our hair down, enjoy the festivities, but we can take it to the Nth degree when a lovely glass of wine becomes a bottle. Before we know it, we’ve plowed through a hefty amount of alcohol. Now, there’s nothing wrong with a tipple, but if you know that you can’t handle your drink and if you feel that a drink here and there takes the edge off, especially if it distracts you from looking at your bank balance, is it really the best solution? There are many ways to learn how to stop drinking, but while there’s nothing wrong with the enjoyment of the festivities, we have to be careful not to overdo it.
The Money Problems
Christmas appears to be all about spending above and beyond what we can afford, and enduring financial hardship to pay off the credit card bills until Christmas comes around again. Why do we do this? We feel that we have to give everybody a present of sorts, no matter how cheap or tatty it is. But let’s have a look at this; if we buy a distant cousin some aftershave that we wouldn’t spray on our worst enemy, is it really worth spending the money? Paying lip service to the idea of Christmas these days consists of getting gifts for people, no matter how trivial they are. Instead, why don’t we go back to the traditional meaning of Christmas? Gathering people around and enjoying each other’s company, rather than it being all about the gifts. Gifts are something that we can get preoccupied with, especially when we’ve got children. We can get competitive with other parents, and see what the other moms have got for their children, and inevitably, pester power begins. It’s a habit that can be a struggle to get out of, but if we make the break with material goods now, not only are we saving ourselves in a financial sense, but we can properly teach our children what Christmas is all about.
The trappings of the holiday season are too many to list, and while we get caught up in the festivities, we can easily take it too far. Whether this is overindulging too much, or getting ourselves in debt for one measly day, we fall into the trap so easily. Getting out of the trappings of the holiday season isn’t just about going against the grain, but it’s almost about unlearning some of the habits we’ve been used to over the years. Let’s make a positive change, for us and our loved ones.