The Importance of Spending Time and Not Money

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It’s that time of year when we are bombarded by bright, jangly TV adverts, showing Christmases filled with piles of gifts, food and smiling faces. But to most of us, the reality is far removed from that and in this year in particular, quite a long way from the financial reality.
It’s far more important to spend time with the people you love rather than buying gifts for the sake of it. If you want to exchange gifts, why not ask what people actually want, set a budget or agree to keep it simple. Try not to make others feel uncomfortable – and stress that receiving a gift doesn’t mean they have to give one in return.
If you have time off over the Christmas period, plan in advance how you want to spend it and with who. That might be your own family, friends near or further away, or those in your community. It’s easy to be tempted by a relaxed ‘let’s see what each day brings’ but you’ll find the days before and after Christmas get hijacked for a number of reasons. So think who it is important for you to see and what you’d like to do.

We are all feeling the squeeze this year, with the rising cost of living, and there is always someone in a less fortunate position than you. Ask around your community to find out who may benefit from support or help over Christmas. It could be helping to serve Christmas lunch at a community hub, delivering food parcels, sorting food donations, or giving companionship to someone who’s alone.
Your family will appreciate you giving them uninterrupted, quality time, particularly if you work. There’s nothing children like more than focused time with their parents, and the same goes for all family members. It’s so easy to get distracted, even by the TV, and get sucked into things that take our attention. Stop and think and consider what you’re doing and if it’s taking your time away. Be present in the moment, treasure the time you have with yourself and others.
Quality time doesn’t mean going on expensive outings or lavish experiences. It’s more important to enjoy each other’s company and laugh together. You could make things to gift to others – little bags of sweet treats always go down well – have a gingerbread house decorating competition, watch Christmas films or go back to basics and make paper chains. These are the things that will be remembered.
Christmas can be a stressful time, mainly because we’re trying so hard to make it perfect for everyone. If you are cooking for others, ask for help and accept it when offered. Things may not get done exactly the way you want, but it’ll help relieve your burden and make others feel useful. We put so much pressure on ourselves for just one day or one meal and we really don’t need to.
Don’t forget yourself in all of this – if you’re frazzled, you’ll be no good to anyone. Carve some time out for yourself to relax and you’ll enjoy everything and everyone else so much more. There’s nothing wrong with finding time for yourself, we all need that and you shouldn’t feel guilty about it. Stop and pause, get some fresh air, even if that means stepping into the garden.
If you do feel overwhelm creeping up, contact me to arrange a call. Talking to someone and letting out your frustration will make you feel much calmer and in a better place to cope. I am here to help you work through it.
Remember Christmas isn’t about the pile of gifts and food. It’s about spending time with your loved ones, and sharing with those who have less than you. A time to say thank you, and how grateful we are for each other.
I wish you a peaceful and stress-free time with the people you want to be with, doing the things you want to be doing.