Staying Within Your Means this Holiday Season

For those who have read my blog in the past, you know that I am the resident grandma, and I like to share what I’ve learned and experienced over the years. A little wisdom. We are now a full 10 days into December (where has the time gone?) and right in the middle of the holiday season. Folks should be done with Thanksgiving leftovers — please tell me you’re not still eating that, it’s been over a week already — and people are putting their decorations up, listening to the holiday season radio station, getting ready for company parties, preparing to travel, and buying presents for others!

In my experience the holidays are normally a joyous time, a time for friends and family, a time to have fun, a time to relax and a time for reflection — it’s the most wonderful time of the year. There have been holiday seasons, however, where I’ve found myself stressing, not quite enjoying myself like I should during the holidays.

Usually when I find myself not enjoying the season it’s because I’ve gone beyond my means. In this sense, going beyond your means can take on a lot of definitions. I think most people would automatically go to the meaning that you’ve spent beyond your financial expectations. That is certainly one that has caused me a ton of undue stress in the past, but it could also mean taking a trip that you can’t quite afford, taking time off that you didn’t have planned, not taking enough time off, doing too much for others and not remembering or giving yourself enough time for self-care.

One of my favorite things about the holidays since I first became a grandmother nearly 13 years ago is experiencing the holidays through my children’s eyes. What I’ve noticed is that they don’t care what present you’ve given them. They just appreciate that you love them enough to give them something and spend time with them. The same is true with family, friends and even the other family you spend a third to half of your day with five times a week — your work family. Show your coworkers that you care and recognize your shared experience, but don’t go beyond your means. Most of the time a little recognition goes a long way.

Do me and yourself a favor, please enjoy this holiday season, whether it’s spending some quality time with friends and family, taking a trip, taking some time off, or rocking out at the company party. Enjoy the season and do so without going beyond your means. Chances are, whoever you spend the holidays with will not remember what you bought them, but will remember the time you spent with them and will carry in their heart how you made them feel.

And for those of you who don’t celebrate the holiday season (I mean we all can enjoy a party during New Year’s, right?), enjoy the quiet office and get that work done!

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