Materiality: Less Is More

julies family
Making memories during our Christmas trip to Scottsdale last year.

“You give little when you give of your possessions.  It is when you give of yourself that you truly give”.  -Kahlil Gibran

The holidays are upon us. For many it is a very financially stressful time of year. We are a culture obsessed with buying, spending and consuming more. But when is more enough? The temptation to shop can lead to houses over-run with clutter and lives overwhelmed with too much stuff. Clutter has a negative impact on all areas of our lives: social, physical, emotional, psychological, financial and spiritual.

This holiday season, I would encourage you and your families to adopt a new mindset to consume less, live with less, and be happy with less! Reframe your way of thinking so that you’re not constantly thinking about what you don’t have, and find joy in simple pleasures. Spend time with family and friends and make memories to cherish.

Here are a few ideas on how to stay focused and organized this holiday season:

Give an Experience, Rather Than Things
Concert, theater ticket, restaurant gift certificate, or donation to a charity.

Control Gift Giving
Don’t go overboard. Keep your budget and stress down by setting a price limit on gifts, shopping with cash, draw names within your family, doing only stocking stuffers, or purchasing a family gift.

Give kids four main gifts. Something they want, need, wear, and read. That’s it.

Go Digital
Shop online! It’s fast, easy and less stressful than shopping in a crowded store. It also helps you stick to your list and budget. Ship directly to recipients and use the gift wrap option.

Take Notes
Keep a list in your phone or daily planner with gift ideas for family members. Write down ideas whenever a friend or family member mentions something.

Keep a spot in your phone or daily planner labeled ‘Christmas’ where you can remember where you purchased items such as your christmas tree, special activities and fun memories.

How are you going to make this holiday season different for your family?