The holidays always stir up memories, and with them, feelings of guilt and expectations, especially when it comes to gift-giving. Somewhere along the line, how much we give or receive has become the measurement of love and appreciation: “The more expensive the gift, the more you love me.” At least that’s what I came to believe as a child.
Now I am wiser without being a miser.
What to spend: The temptation to over spend at holiday time: how to set limits without feeling like scrooge.
How much to spend on your partner for the holidays depends upon the stage you are in your relationship. This is a tricky area because there are so many unknowns. We don’t want to commit a faux pas, be viewed as cheap…or as extravagant and scare him away or make him feel like a cheap skate.
Being thoughtful is one way to say to someone: “I know you.” Remembering that Uncle Ned loves trains, or Aunt Polly collects clocks from Norway or your Mom really needs a professional massage.
Everybody wants to feel special and noticed. Paying attention is the most profound form of love and men want to feel they are in the center of women’s worlds, are we really listening? But, there can be NO expectations on our part. What do they like? What are their hobbies? What will make them laugh? No one has ever complained they got a thoughtful gift and it was only $14.99 instead of $149.00.
Your kids: Set limits; as hard as that is to do, the goal is to have less stress even after the holiday. Receiving choking credit card bills after the holiday causes stress you can avoid.
Giving kids a budget: ask them to list five things they want, you then decide what you can afford…and, giving them $50 for them to spend is a great way for them to feel powerful and in charge.
With kids under three, go to the 99 cent store and buy many things, gift wrap them; kids love to unwrap things.
And…no one remembers what they received last year!
Cooking together is a great way to enjoy what the holiday really means: being grateful for what you have and showing generosity to those who have less.