Christmas brings with it a gush of emotions and a charge of adrenaline for shoppers, what with myriad sales in shops and generous discounts on e-commerce websites. Many of us turn into compulsive shoppers. We shop for ourselves, we shop to gift, we shop to avail of discounts, we shop as a form of therapy. Somewhere along the way, the joy of celebration is lost as we turn into fierce competitors for the biggest, the best and most expensive gifts for ourselves and our loved ones. But wait! Where is the celebration in all this? There is only stress.
Today, let us bring back the mindfulness into our Christmas. Let us make it a little less complex and a little more simple and inclusive so that the festival resonates with more joy.
1. Reach out to the suffering
Divorce, deaths, accidents and illnesses do not wait for festivities to pass before they make their appearance. If you have a friend or relative who is going through any of the above, show them your support and concern. You can offer to take care of the children/pets or supply fresh, home cooked meals from your kitchen. This Christmas, let your gift banish a little bit of helplessness from your friend's life. Let your friend know that he/she always has a support system in you.
Let your Christmas this year be more about gratitude. Do things that bring you joy and satisfaction.
2.Spend time with the less fortunate
Christmas is a time of joy and celebration. But not always. There are the lonely ones who abhor its coming. Think about the elderly in old age homes, who are disconnected from their roots and aching for their family. This Christmas, perhaps you can bring in a little bit of colour into their lives. Show them that you care. Share your home-baked cookies with them, play your favourite funny movies for them and enjoy a few moments of fun and laughter with them.
3. Add compassion to your gifts
This Christmas, focus on gentleness and compassion, instead of loudness. Do you have a friend, who feels strongly about a cause, but is unable to make a financial donation? What better time than Christmas to make donation in your friend's name? Gift your friend the satisfaction of having donated to a worthy cause.
4. Keep your celebrations simple
Of late, Christmas has become stress bait. It has become more about buying the most expensive gifts, wrapping them in glossy paper and adding scores to our consumerist quotient. Somewhere along the way, we are compromising on celebrating the moments. This Christmas, don't go with the herd. Choose the few people who have impacted your life in significant ways and spend your Christmas with them. If parties are not your forte, light up a few candles in your home and have a quiet dinner with your family.
5. Get the kids involved
This Christmas, start to inculcate the spirit of generosity in your children. Get them to make a bundle of toys and books that they no longer use and donate it to a local charity. In fact, you can organise a collection drive in your residential area and make it into a fun activity, so that the children derive joy in giving.
Let your Christmas this year be more about gratitude. Do things that bring you joy and satisfaction. Connect with the authentic you and let it herald new beginnings in many ways.
This is an edited version of a post that first appeared on Money View