Have you been feeling gift giving stress while out shopping this holiday season?
It’s time to check in with how you are feeling about gift giving this holiday season. Gratitude and giving gifts out of love, to express thanks, and for any number of positive reasons is a wonderful thing at any time of year, as long as it fits your bigger life picture and budget.
However, it can easily become overwhelming, especially during the holiday season.
Tip #2 – Say No to Out-of-Control Gift-Giving
Do you feel obligated to get someone a gift because they got you one?
Do you feel the pressure of the overwhelming media hype suggesting that if you do not spend spend spend then somehow you are not a good person?
Do you see what friends and family are doing and get stressed with the need to keep up?
Do you get into a competition with your spouse to “out do” one another with the best intentions at heart?
What about at work? Does this same level of obligation carry over to giving gifts to clients, staff, partners, partners families, vendors, or others?
In the USA black Friday, small business Saturday, and cyber Monday seem to hit record levels of spending every year. Here in Canada the average person in my home province of Alberta in 2011 spent about $700 on gifts. That’s $1400 per couple or maybe more per family and it continues to rise. The problem is that much of this spending is done on CREDIT without actually having the cash in the bank.
Before succumbing to gift giving stress, spend some time before you spend your cash (or credit) and really connect with who you want to give gifts to and why. Then set a reasonable budget based on the costs of gifts and everything else you’ll be spending on this holiday season. Then STICK TO IT so you won’t be working to pay it off for months down the road.
Be aware of getting caught up in “tradition” and what society and the media says “should” be, especially if you don’t really agree anymore.
Don’t Succumb To Gift Giving Stress
- Don’t spend out of obligation or expectation.
- Consider the consequences of acting out of obligation even when you really don’t want to or it causes you significant stress.
- When someone unexpectedly gives you a gift, simply say THANK YOU, with genuine appreciation. Nothing more, nothing less. You do not have to reciprocate.
- For some giving the gift of your time, energy and love is appreciated much more than some material thing. Really, it’s true!
- How about a creating a memorable experience to share as a couples or family gift? It will mean much more than a material thing.
If all that really matters to someone else is that material gift, especially when cash is tight and they know it, maybe it’s time to see that relationship for what it really is.
Do enjoy the season, do give abundantly, but also do say NO when it is not for the right reasons and not in alignment with your bigger life picture and leads to overwhelming gift giving stress.