The scariest thing about Halloween isn’t the costumes.
It’s the retailers who sneak a little bit of Christmas into the aisles of their stores before October 31.
I’m already seeing “Pre-Black Friday” sales and “Early Cyber Monday” deals. Retailers blame it on a shortened holiday shopping season, but they’ve been pushing the Christmas shopping season earlier and earlier for the past several years. They want you to buy early and often.
This time of year puts me in a bit of a quandary. First of all, I love a good deal. Secondly, I love helping you get a good deal. And this is the season for good deals.
But I also hate that so much emphasis is put on STUFF. So much emphasis is placed on money. And so little emphasis is placed on the reason for the season, the people who matter in our lives, and the memories we wish to make.
I am guessing this is a struggle many of you share, too. How many gifts is enough? How will I afford them? Where can I find the time to celebrate the holidays with my family in a meaningful way?
As we enter this season of great joy and intense commercialism, I want you to remember these things:
If you give something with your heart, it is always enough.
You can have a cash-only Christmas.
You can turn off the TV and stop listening to the advertising.
You can unsubscribe to e-mails from retailers who are telling you to “Buy! Buy! Buy!”
Instead, I want you to make a list of the people and activities that really matter most and set aside time for them. Focus on the sights and sounds of the holiday season that bring you joy. Focus on the tastes and smells of holiday baking. Focus on the way you want to feel this holiday season.
How much of that list has THINGS on it? How much of that stuff costs money?
My guess is that most of what you put on that list is much more manageable, more affordable, and much more enjoyable than anything you can buy in a store.
There will always be amazing deals on stuff during the holidays. And it’s okay to go after those bargains (within your means). I can even help you find those deals.
But the best deals this holiday season don’t come from a store. The best deal is the time spent on the people and activities you love.