As food addicts, we tend to adopt different compulsive behaviors, one of them is overspending and too much shopping during the holidays. Not only do we spend a lot of money and clutter our house with items we don’t need, we risk out recovery by inviting insanity, madness and stress into our life.
Part of our addiction is to “get high” from excitement and high-energy activities. We create long shopping lists. We become obsessed with making a perfect holiday. We think mistakenly that what makes a successful celebration are the amount and type and gifts we’ll give to others.
You might think to yourself: “That’s not true! I love the gift exchange and it’s a tradition I want to keep”.
Think about the consequences. How do you feel the day after the party when all the guests are gone and you stay with an endless amount of decorations, gift wrap and depressing credit-card statements?
Traditions are important but they can be evaluated and changed. Showing love and appreciation to your loved one is an important practice but that can be done in many different ways.
The question you want to ask yourself is: “How can I refresh the traditions to helps me stay sane this holiday season?”
Here are some ideas. Take what you like and forget about the rest.
Make sue you take extra time every day to give yourself the best gift you can: the gift of free time. Pause. Detach from the craziness. We all lack quiet, open, free time. Give yourself 10 minutes of doing nothing every day and sit – no matter how uncomfortable it is. Add this free time to your regular time of prayer and meditation and make it your “hitting the pause button to keep me sane this holiday season” time.
Invite your Higher Power into the process. Include a specific prayer in your morning routine: “God, I help me make recovery more important than spending and shopping. Please direct my thinking.” Remember to take your Higher Power with you when you visit the stores.
Take some time to write and reflect on the following concept: What do we want to teach our children about giving? Do we really want to teach them that giving is all about buying? Do we want to teach them that what holds families together is spending money? What do we really want to model and to teach others? How can we model giving and service without spending too much?
Use your creative thinking and bring fun into the process. Think creatively about how to change traditions and make them more fun and sane. Make gifts, such as crafts or construction type gifts. Bake an abstinent dish and bring it as a gift.
Give the gift of your service — wash cars, give a massage, babysit, clean a house, mow lawns, etc. Ask your family members to join you on a charity event instead of exchanging gifts.
Talk to your family members or send them an email and get them excited about your intention to spend less and create new traditions. Ask them what they think. Challenge them to get creative.
You’re not trying to change the world. Your intention is to stay sane. Your family members might not like your ideas. Accept it. Don’t give away your power. If they like it – great! If not – at least you started a conversation and you can at least change how you spend your time (and money) during the holidays. They might not understand but you will lead by example.
What is your favorite tip form this article? What are you willing to try?