Boxing Day Reflection

There are so many parts of Christmas that I absolutely love, and I think this year might just be the best one yet. For the first time in years I haven’t felt stressed or Grinch like at all. Maybe it’s because there are just so many other things on my mind lately to keep it busy, or maybe it’s because Jen looked after even more than usual. In any case I’m thankful that I was able to enjoy celebrating with my family.

Last night however, while sitting on the couch after cleaning everything up, and the pumpkin pies for tonight’s dessert were in the oven, I started thinking. I found myself worrying about how I was going to dispose of all the waste that comes with the packaging and wrapping paper. If that is not a hit of reality that you likely have or consume too much I don’t know what is.

Now I have to try to figure out what to do about it. Sometimes I feel like we buy stuff for the kids just for the sake of buying things. Not so much during most of the year, but during gift giving holidays I think this is the case. We do buy a lot of clothes which are certainly things that they can use and we would likely buy anyway. Of course a few fun gifts aren’t going to hurt anyone, but I’m certain we could scale it back. Get them something they really want or need and let that be that.

Maybe instead of more physical gifts we find ways to build more memories together. Not sure how we do that. We talked before about giving up Christmas and taking a vacation somewhere warm as our big family Christmas gift. That would be great, but it would cause us to miss all the other Christmas traditions I love. Getting to spend time with the rest of our family.

At this point I’m really not sure what the answer is, and I’m not confident I can get buy in from the rest of my family, but I’m sure something needs to change. We are at a point where we don’t really need more “things”. Sure we could use new tires for the car, and boring everyday life things like that, but those aren’t things you can put under the tree for the kids.

It’s also hard for me because I know first hand getting together with your friends after Christmas and comparing the things everyone received. It can be difficult when you don’t have either as much or that big gift to share. Obviously that shouldn’t be a big concern as you shouldn’t worry about comparing yourself to your friends or anyone else, but it’s also a part of our reality. There has to be a way we can do both. Scale back the needless things that they might get a few moments of enjoyment with and then not touch again for a long time, if ever, while at the same time give them something memorable that they can talk to their friends about.

There is a solution and it will likely take a shift in the way we consume things in general year round, so it won’t be quick or easy, but I think it will be a good goal to work towards.

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