Well we do have a new President, but we don't know how long it will take or if he can work magic to reverse the incredibly dismal financial picture facing many of us. Banks are disappearing, retirement accounts are wilting, debt is growing, jobs...well some of us have lost our jobs. We are all being faced with the need to become more frugal. The holiday season typically encourages shopping and material gift giving and so we face months ahead that will invariably stress us, since a frugal approach cannot often meet gift giving expectations.
There is a growing shift to "spiritual secularism" a movement that reflects about one third of Americans attitudes and philosophies, and it basically suggests that people can fulfill the American dream through spiritual fulfillment rather than materialism. It actually reinforces a growing movement to simplicity. And it asks you to re-think how you rank what you value - putting family, your elders, the quality of your work, your philanthropy - at the top of your list of values.
Believe it or not - even before the financial crisis, there were people who did not own 3 TVs, or a blackberry or define their worth in the $$ amount of the gifts they would give. These people focused more on time with family, and they could always find ways to creatively give gifts - like coupons that state - "I'll do your chores," or "a two hour walk with you," or "a backrub." Some people have never felt the need to "move up or bigger" and instead have lived a more simple and less materialistically cluttered life. You know what else? They tend to live with alot less stress and they cause others......very little stress. Another offshoot from this attitude? You tend to cherish what you do have and focus on the more important things in life, like how you treat others.
Want to have less anxiety and stress during this gift giving season?
Abandon the typical "in list of gifts" like pricey jewelry, clothing, technology and adopt the new "in list" of cookbooks, homemade and filled baskets, movie dates and the promise of more time spent together. My daughter still hasn't seen West Side Story and so my gift to her is an afternoon spent popping air popped popcorn and watching a DVD together, uninterrupted. Pretty stress free, don't you think??
Published On: November 08, 2008