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Four Things

I saw a picture referencing the holidays with an idea of four gifts. The four items were - something you want, something you need, something to wear, something to read.  The thought behind the idea was to have less spending, consumerism, and more gratitude. I found this a refreshing idea. A little less commercialism as well as less stress appeals to me and hopefully after reading this it will to you too.

The idea of four gifts got me thinking about all the things we do from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day. It’s a whirlwind of non-stop activity where we race from one event to another. I have many acquaintances that moan when someone states it is only so many days until Christmas. It has become a time to shop, cook, go to events, travel and much more. Many are left exhausted, depressed, and in debt.

What can we do to ease the tension and expectations, so we can enjoy the season? One way may be to continue the four-item theme with everything connected to the months between November and January.

It could be a plan to simplify your life. An example would be to attend only four events during the holidays. It would be a hard decision for some people, but it could give you more family time, less stress and expense plus you can choose the events you really want to attend and enjoy.

Helping four charitable organizations would also be an option. Serving as a volunteer or providing a donation would be an example. This exercise provides a good example to others. Your actions illustrate another way to celebrate the holidays and can be rewarding.

You may like to rethink the extreme shopping until you drop strategies as well. Many times we are buying gifts that end up being donated a year later because they are just taking up shelf space.

Perhaps a gift of your time will be more appreciated and give you more fulfillment. Making time to help someone else can go a long way for many people. Perhaps finding four people or families you can help with your time will be much appreciated this season. Looking after a child while parents get errands done, or taking an elderly person to visit a friend can mean much more than a wrapped gift.

I find many people have this expectation to achieve the perfect holiday. You can control whatever holiday you desire. Start you own traditions. Many years ago, my family started a practice of one person opening a Christmas gift while the others watched. We each took turns so everyone could enjoy seeing the surprised expressions of those on the receiving end. It was one of our favor things to do and made the morning more fun. This gave us a warmth of appreciation and gratitude for being together.

Whatever you decide, four things may be a good guide line to give you more enjoyment through December and going into the New Year.

“I've come to the conclusion that the average person can do about four things a day, like four real things a day.” - Questlove


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